Reality of the Story
Ok, so we know that Jesus was born. We also know that before that, Mary and then Joseph were given a message from God about what this child was all about. The Messiah, the Savior, the one that would rescue the world. But what happened in the months in between these two events? Mary went and visited Elizabeth, who was to be the mother of John the Baptist. But other than that, we know nothing about what happened in those interim months.
My curious mind wants to fill in the gaps with what happened. Did Mary stay with Elizabeth a long time? Maybe go back and forth to visit her. Did they live close by each other? We know that Mary and Joseph lived in Nazareth (Luke 1:36). We also know that Elizabeth’s husband Zachariah was a priest serving in the temple (Luke 1:8-9), so they most likely would have lived in or around Jerusalem. According to Google maps, which I’m sure Mary would have used, they are 64 miles apart and it would take 31 hours to walk there. That would be a two to three day walk. Was Mary there when John was born? I would like to know what the conversations between the two were in those days.
Then there are the questions of things back home in Nazareth. I realize clothes in those days were not as tight fitting as they are now day, but did Mary hide the pregnancy? Obviously it was going to be known if not beforehand, then afterwards. Remember Joseph was going to quietly divorce her to not expose her to public disgrace (Matthew 1:19). Did people look down on her in judgment? What was it like for her to go out into public if it was known? I don’t know these things, but I can only imagine what it was like to deal with these things. Real people called by God to partake in things beyond this life, while still living out their daily lives.
Isn’t that what we are, real people. Individuals called by God to know that this life is temporary, to know that there is something greater. No, I haven’t been called by God in a dream, or visited by an angel, but I have been spoken to by God, through His word. I know God so loved the world that Jesus was sent to save us (John 3:16). I know He came into this existence in human form and lived a life just like us (John 1:14). I know I am loved by God.
With this “beyond this life” knowledge, how do I go about living my daily life in this world? Seeking what I want? Chasing after accolades and material possessions? Do I put up with things because I know there is something greater? Mary and Joseph were real people who knew something those around them didn’t. They lived a life that allowed others to know the Savior. We may not have the Savior born into our family, but if we have been born into the Savior’s family, we have a responsibility. Don’t get caught up in the spirit of the season, but live out the reality of the reason.
Reality can be hard,