In more than three decades of my Christian life, I have been blest by 2 types of Daily devos'
(matter not exceeding 500 words) in universal Christian literature. Not only those Devos'
which have a different theme everyday but also the ones which revolve around a certain
theme over a period of time, say a fortnight, have richly edified me. In fact, both
styles have their own inherent advantages. If the former style caters to the varying
spiritual needs of a christian from day-to-day, the latter aims 'to ground'
a child of God in a certain subject in order he derives the full benefits of the
deep insightful study of a certain topic, spread over a fixed span of time.
In my Daily devo page, I have consciously tried to go in for 'a blend of both the
styles' whereby within a constant theme, I would be aiming to focus on different
facets of it which admittedly is a closer imitation of the 'Constant theme' style
than the 'Varying topics' one.
As the month of December coincides with the Christmas season, in this month I intend to
dwell exclusively on all the topics revolving around Christmas using the visit of the
Wise man described in Matthew 2 as the base.
Let me wish you a happy and an edifying read… oh yes-MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL OF US!
And as a penalty he must bring to the priest, that is, to the LORD, his guilt offering,
a ram from the flock, one without defect and of the proper value - Leviticus 6:6
This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be
married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the
Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to
public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly –
Yesterday, while unraveling a mystery of 2 Gospels’ being in apparent contradiction to
one another on the events (the time of visit of Wise men to worship the Christ child)
surrounding Jesus’ birth –refer Daily Devo dated 3-12-08-, I had promised to bring to the fore,
‘one missing link’, in the entire account. That is the reason behind the continual stay of Jesus’
parents at Bethlehem (refer Map I in the NT Maps section of this website) for 2 years, instead of
returning to their native village of Nazareth in the northern region of Galilee, soon after
completing the Census’ formalities, which brought them to Bethlehem in the first place
Our search for the ‘missing link’, would lead us firstly to the reason behind the Virgin birth of the
Saviour (from sins). The blemish less Lamb of God that had to die as an atonement for the sins of mankind,
had to be absolutely pure from conception onwards. Hence behind Jesus’ birth, there was no human plan
or passion involved, in order he be absolutely spotless and holy. Even under the Mosaic Law, the
animals –a pointer towards the coming Christ- sacrificed as an atonement for sins, had to be spotless,
as one of the above-captioned scripture portion
(Levi 6:6), bears out.
His mode of birth, as a part of God’s redemption plan for mankind was announced to his
would-be- mother Virgin Mary (engaged to be married to David’s descendant Joseph),
who after expressing genuine apprehensions willingly submitted to God’s will
The social fallout of a virgin becoming pregnant can well be imagined in a small village,
‘where everyone knew everyone else’s business’! Who would believe her story of the Angelic visit!
Why even Joseph her trusted fiancée did not believer her story (Mary herself would have in full
trust revealed the reason behind her pregnancy to him) and as such was on the verge of breaking
their engagement, till yet another angelic intervention
(Matt 1:18-25), changed the course of events
for both him and his betrothed one.
Vices’ such as slander, character assassination, talking behind one’s back have a long
history being as old as mankind itself! Imagine, how tongues would have wagged in that little
village of Galilee on Mary’s pregnancy! Doubtless, both Mary and Joseph would have been at the
receiving end of a ruthless public ridicule, for begetting a child during the period of their
engagement itself. Would they have wanted their innocent son also, whilst growing-up to become
a target of a cruel public ridicule, they had endured? No wonder, they continued to stay in
Bethlehem without returning to Galilee after Jesus’ birth, with Joseph, the Carpenter finding a
way to sustain his family, by plying his trade in a new setting. Hence, Jesus was staying in a
house in Bethlehem when the Wise men, arrived 2 years after his birth.
Even, whilst returning from Egypt, the natural inclination of Joseph was to go back to Bethlehem,
hence the spontaneous fear in his heart
(Matt 2:21-22) on knowing that Herod’s son Archelaus was now
ruling Judea (region in which Bethlehem lay) and since security for Christ-child was paramount,
he was directed to go to Nazareth, where with the passage of time, situation would have surely
improved. Really, a closer look at the Christmas story, bereft of all the fanciful strappings
would reveal the many travails, the parents’ of Jesus endured, all for the purpose of bringing
God’s redemption plan to fruition!
Father, in the midst of our tribulations, remind us of Jesus’ parents who
willingly and submissively bore all the difficulties to be a part of Thy great redemption plan.
Grant us too that same grace to patiently bear our problems, till you remove them in your own
good time. Amen.