Well, the Christmas season is upon us. The stores have been transformed with decorations and lights, the houses along my street are filling up the night sky with lights and inflatable Santa Clauses, and the radio stations are pumping the non-stop Christmas tunes. As I was listening to our worship music for Sunday, I was watching a video for the song 'Come and Worship' arranged by Bebo Norman. The video mainly showed Joseph and Mary making the pilgrimage to Bethlehem. As I watched Joseph caring for her, I was reminded of the cost he paid to stay with her. I was reminded of the scandal that surrounded this couple and the scorn and shame that had been placed on them because of this baby that wasn't Joseph's baby.
I was reminded of some verses in Hebrews that described the moment that Moses let go of what might have been in Egypt and he chose the road of following God. It says in chapter 11, '26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.' For nine months this young couple lived in disgrace and shame and mockery as people around them would have considered them immoral and sinful, not understanding the mystery of the virgin birth. Yet, can you imagine that moment on the first Christmas, when they saw the baby for the first time and the shepherds came running with news of angels and the armies of heaven? How amazing that moment must have been to be in the very center of God's plan.
I can only imagine how quickly all of that shame and suffering was no more and how God's glory filled their hearts to overflowing. I hope that we will continue to follow in the footsteps of Moses and Mary and Joseph. May we choose the path of God at each crossroads we face. May we choose it knowing that no matter how long the suffering and shame lasts, that at the end is the unspeakable joy of God's presence and glory.....and that will be worth waiting for!