Bringing Baby Jesus Home Week #3

Walking back to his room my Pa-paw would inform us that he was “goin’ to watch a good story”. Whether it was John Wayne or Chuck Norris, my Pa-paw watched the same movies over and over again. He loved them! He loved them because they were good “stories”.

Plot is important, but for a book, movie or show to be really good – I have to fall in love with the characters.  If I can identify with or become curious about the characters you can bet I’ll be returning to that particular story again and again.

Each year we revisit the Christmas story and I think the characters in this story are some of the best around!  Let’s travel back in time and put ourselves in the shoes of those involved. Perhaps we’ll find something new, or maybe just remember what it means to have faith in a God-directed, Hollywood-style story. I’ve put my own ideas and story-telling into this review, I hope we can picture the people, places and events in a new way and enjoy a quick reminder of why Christmas is so special to all people everywhere.

Dim the lights, roll film and let’s begin with a very usual, quite ordinary, boring day…

Mary – She’s a young girl (between 14 and 16 years old), talking with her friends about her wedding dress and the wedding feast. They giggle and point at Joseph as he waves to his betrothed across the marketplace.  A girl, in love, whose body is just beginning to show a woman’s form.

Joseph – A young man exhausted from hearing his Father’s lectures about providing for his bride, fulfilling the duties of a good Jewish man and how to one day raise a family. He loves Mary but is nervous to become a husband and provider. He prays in the Temple for wisdom and finds peace while he is working with his tools. He’s started building a table for them to use in their new home and his friends are planning a bachelor party.

The Shepherds – Simple men of the wilderness they miss their families but are thankful for employment. The flock of sheep on the hillside are their livelihood. Between thieves, wolves and disease the Shepherds are constantly on guard against anything that would compromise the herd. The hot sun beats on their backs and they rely on story-telling to pass the time.  One shepherd tells of his days serving a royal family, remembering what it meant to have consistent food and a warm bed.  Each night the flock is called into the sheepfold.  The sheep come because they recognize the lead shepherd’s voice.  They enter into the gate and are counted as they pass under the shepherd’s staff. Knowing all the sheep are accounted for and with their slings loaded the men decide who will stay awake and keep watch during the night.

The Wisemen – Lounging on their pillows the men debate and hypothesize about the stars that are appearing as the night sky begins to form. Following their calendar and comparing notes the men feel a sort of excitement and expectation.  Something new is happening in the heavens and tonight they are awaiting the alignment of two planets and wondering what the result will be. Their shepherds wait with the camels and sheep in the cold night and look up at the same stars their Master’s chart and worship.  The months ahead are sure to bring new discovery and challenge to this group of wise scholars and astronomers.

The Angels – They gather in Heaven, around God’s throne and watch in anticipation as He says good-bye to His Son. Jesus looks at the angels with assurance and peace in His eyes. They watch as Gabriel is called aside and quickly leaves for earth – He has messages to deliver.

Nine to Ten Months Later…

Joseph and Mary are exhausted. Although they are married, they have yet to consummate the union. Over the last 40 weeks the couple has found a union that surpasses any physical intimacy here on earth. They’ve watched Mary’s belly grow and Joseph has been amazed to feel his son’s strong kick against his hand. Neither wonder if their son will portray physical features from their family line. Instead they live each day, amazed at God’s willingness to trust them with His Son.

As they enter Bethlehem they realize the days of waiting are over. Mary prays aloud to her God for strength as the pains of birth grow in strength.  Joseph simultaneously prays for wisdom. Wiping his son’s face clean, Joseph lifts the baby up so that Mary can share in this joyful moment.  Their smiles are paired with tears as they hear their son’s first cry and the silence of sin’s darkness is broken.

The Shepherds continue with their daily routine and the wisemen watch the stars and planets in the vast sky.  The angels watch God, the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth, beaming with pride. They wonder if another message will be sent to the people of earth. God smiles at the thought of His Son once and for all saving His creation from sin.At times His smile fades into solemn thought as He anticipates what is yet to come. But for now all of Heaven buzzes with excitement, like a family celebrating in the maternity ward waiting room.

A beautiful child had been born and this boy was their Jesus.  The angels couldn’t wait to declare His entrance into the world and the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy:

For unto US a Child is born,

Unto US a Son is given;

And the government will be upon His shoulder.

And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6

WE are now the characters in the Christmas story. WE are now the active participants in God’s plan for saving this world. I pray we will be like Mary, Joseph and the angels – they were so obedient, full of faith and action. Next week we’ll look more at the shepherds and wisemen, the role they played and I know God will have a new epiphany for each of us.

I hope you enjoyed a beautiful Christmas with your family and friends. You are wonderful!


Click Here to read the First Post in this series!

Click Here to read the Second Post in this series!

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