Fairview Baptist Tabernacle
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Staying Connected
 Archived Pastor's Desk 2016.12.18

December 18 – December 24 


Scripture Passage:  “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)  And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, (because he was of the house and lineage of David,) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.  And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.  And she brought forth her first born son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”    Luke 2: 1-7


Dear Friends,


     For every mom and dad Christmas brings problems, but it also brings promises.  The same was true for Joseph and Mary two thousand years ago.  Mary did not fully understand everything happening to her so she had to have many questions and fear of the unknown.  She would have had to be treated shamefully because she became pregnant before her wedding.  No amount of explanation would have been enough for the skeptics and the rumors that floated around town. Just imagine what her parents had to endure.  Joseph was looking forward to his wedding night only to have that anticipation replaced with embarrassment.  How could Mary do this to him?  He had been faithful to her and now he had a difficult decision to make.  He could put her away privately, have her stoned, or take her and pretend the baby was his.  Either way he was getting tarnished goods, or so he thought.  He chose to take her and proceed as quietly as possible, but this baby definitely changed everything.  The Bible tells us a bit of information in Matthew 1: 25 that I find interesting and very important.  Joseph did not “know” her until after she had given birth to her first-born son.  Talk about respect.  Respect for Mary and respect for God.  He definitely was a good man.  Now there was an unexpected tax that would have put a financial burden on the young carpenter.  They had to make the journey to Bethlehem by foot and Mary was in her ninth month.  Why did she not stay with her parents?  Was she not welcome?  Had Joseph become all she had?  We do not know the answer to all these questions, but we do know she made the journey only to find out there were no rooms available in town.  The best Joseph could do was a barn.  I believe this would have bothered Joseph.  Every man wants to take care of his woman, especially one who is pregnant.  They settle in the livestock stall as Mary gives birth to her first-born child.  No doctor, no mid-wife, no medicine, no hospital, just Joseph comforting her and smoothing her hair as she cried out in labor pains.  The baby is born, the cord is cut, and the mess is cleaned up, only to have company to show up at the most inopportune time.  It definitely was a difficult time for this young couple. 


     We too are just like Joseph and Mary.  We are struggling in a hard world where many things are beyond our control.  Sometimes we feel helpless, stepped on by the powerful Caesars and unjust Herod’s of the world.  Our problem might be sickness, loneliness, depression or financial worries.  We may be having some sort of family problems or this may be the first year we have to celebrate Christmas without a loved one.  Whatever we are experiencing we must keep our focus on the promises that Christmas brings.  God came to save us and make us spiritually well.  We can be forgiven and our relationship with God restored by the gift and sacrifice of the Christ-child.  The old man can be transformed and we can be made new and given a second chance in life.  God is with us, and always will be.  We are never left alone to face the challenges life sends our way.  Christmas offers hope and meaning for a world full of problems and it came bundled up in swaddling clothes and lying in a feed trough. 


     Let us celebrate the gift of God’s Son.  The promise of the manger was fulfilled at the cross.  The promise at his birth was fulfilled at his death.  The promise of his death and burial became his manifested gift at His resurrection.  The Song of Peace on Earth and Good Will Toward Men which the angels sang became the song of promise of the redeemed given them by a resurrected Savior.  May you have a blessed and joyous Christmas season. 


In Christ,


Pastor Johnny