December 23 will always having a special meaning for me. It is my parents’ wedding anniversary. When I was a boy, I always bought them specialty coffee and found Christmas-themed anniversary cards. For me, Christmas will always be associated with the wedding of my parents.
While our attention is properly on Jesus, it is also important to remember that He did not grow up in isolation, nor did He appear fully grown and ready to work miracles. God saw to it that the One Who was to take on our sins first took on our complete humanity.
The marriage of Joseph and Mary is, therefore, vitally important to the Christmas story. This marriage provided for the divine Jesus all that was necessary for His growth and development as a human. He experienced the primal form of community, the human family, and He experienced the many facets of love, from the romantic to the sacrificial. In his parents He saw the extent of humanity, the very humanity He had come to save.
Father, thank You not only for Jesus Himself, but for the stories of His life. Thank You for the models we have in Joseph, Mary, and the disciples of how to live a life centered around Him. May our own lives likewise have Him as the focus. Amen.
Copyright © 2012 by Steven R. Perkins