Matthew begins with the genealogy of Jesus, filled with less than perfect men and women, less than stellar kings. So filled with such imperfect specimens is this listing that the Holy Spirit then says: “Now the birth of Jesus was like this.” Or “On the contrary the birth of Jesus was like this.”
His birth was so very stellar and other-worldly compared to his lineage that there is no comparison at all.
The “players” in the drama are
Mary & Joseph
Zacharias and Elizabeth
The wise men
Anna of Asher
Simeon of Judah
and the inn-keeper
Each had their mundane lives to live:
Mary & Joseph lived in a backwater town.
Zacharias and Elizabeth were at retirement age, having spent their whole lives in a non-
eventful and thankless job, and were childless
The shepherds were caught up in a monotonous and lonely routine.
The wise men – a few of many scholars – were wise by knowledge, but they had no real experience. They were insulated by their books.
King Herod was caught between Rome and the Jews. Not a real king, he was distrustful of everyone, and distrusted by everyone.
Anna & Simeon had spent a lifetime of waiting with only a thread of hope.
The inn-keeper was a little known businessman in a village whose only sense of importance was the claim to the birthplace of King David.
In a two-year period, each had an interesting encounter with God.
Zacharias stumbled into God’s presence.
Elizabeth and God used the same body.
The shepherds and God attended the same angelic concert.
The inn-keeper and God used the same stable to for their lambs.
The wise men and God were interested in the same star.
King Herod and God had designs on the same throne.
Anna and God inhabited the same temple waiting to give thanks and receive thanks.
Simeon and God anticipated the same Salvation for Israel.
Joseph and God had an eye for the same woman – and met in a dream to work it all out.
And Mary’s and God’s “fullness of time” occurred at the same time and in the same place.
And yet, each would have lived a life that was unknown and not-long-remembered by more than one or two others…except…
for the unseen,
cataclysmic events that were occurring
And what of your “mundane” life? And what of the worldly events happening all around you without your control? Could it be that God is doing something
and simultaneous with you?
Could I encourage you today to be an Anna or a Simeon? Could you commit yourself to waiting on God? staying in His presence? not giving up with the passing of time?
Could I encourage you to be a Mary and allow God to do impossible things with you? Could you be a Joseph and allow God to change the course of your life and future history?
Like Zacharias and Elizabeth, would you start life again at what the world considers the end and produce a greater blessing for God – and the world?
Like the shepherds, would you release your hands from this world’s busyness to bow before God in adoration?
Or like the wise men, would you allow God to re-chart your life and send you to unknown places to supply needed gifts for the King?
Today, no one thinks of these first century AD lives as mundane. Instead we wish we had been there. We dream of what it would be like to be one of them. We give God praise that each of them allowed God to invade their mundane-ness.
And we take hope and are encouraged that God is also using us in a very significant way. And He is!
“He that began a good work in you will continue it until the day of Christ.”
Have a very Merry Christmas.
Dreams do come true
4 years ago