Love, faith and trust at Christmas
BY ROBERT DOCTER –
Love and faith and trust were there as Joseph assisted in the birth of a child from the womb of one he loved deeply–his Mary. It was not his child. He was not the father. Nevertheless, he cleaned and wrapped the child carefully and placed him on Mary’s breast. Another father smiled on the scene from on high.
They were now parents–ready to accept the God-given responsibility to teach Messiah the ways of man. As directed–they named him Jesus.
They must have provided him with the essential elements of worth and esteem. They must have stimulated his mind and spent time with his education. They must have explored feelings with him. They must have taught him discipline and responsible decision-making. They must have modeled genuine, authentic love for each other and for him.
For he grew in wisdom and stature in favor with God and man.
They were not a typical family. They didn’t live in an ideal place. But then, raising children has never been convenient–never without demands of time and effort–never without the multiple communication requirements of both love and direction.
God chose these parents well. Others have failed in this important, God-given responsibility. Infants raised without love die. They wither away in quiet solitude, sucking an unresponsive finger, in a fetal position–without touch or care from a nurturing source–neglected in self-centered cruelty.
Mary and Joseph never opted out. They never chose a self-centered path. They never communicated displeasure with his essence. They taught him with care–and he must have learned well.
He continued to grow–and then he was ready. In their humanness Mary and Joseph must have wondered–what will become of him? Will the prophecy hold true? They must have continued to pray for direction–and for him.
For this, their son, was a man with “the spirit of the Lord upon him–the spirit of wisdom and understanding–the spirit of counsel and power–of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.”
This was a man, the prophet said, who “will not judge by what he sees with his eyes–or decide with what he hears with his ears–but with righteousness he will judge the needy–with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.”
We are the beneficiaries of the parenting provided Messiah.