“This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph,” Matthew 1:18
Some versions say espoused or betrothed. We would say engaged.
That means a wedding is on the way!!!
Mary was engaged to Joseph. They were committed. There may have not been a ring like we would typically use today but nonetheless, a wedding was coming soon.
Sometimes the engagement would last up to a year. This was a time to prepare for marriage. The couple would be able to ask God’s blessing on their relationship as husband and wife. Household affairs would have been taken care of at this time. Even the building of a house could be happening. Although not physically together, unfaithfulness at this point would have been considered adultery.
I have performed almost 300 weddings. It is a privilege to sit with couples during their engagement and speak with them. There are some great stories of how he proposed. It really is a special time for young couples. I know life happens but I always encourage each couple to enjoy this time because it goes fast and can be exciting. Hopefully, it is the only time they are ever engaged!
In the case of Mary and Joseph, I think they had similar feelings. Knowing that the time is relatively short before the wedding probably induced (no pun intended here) emotions and feelings of love, honor, respect etc.
And then the bomb dropped.
Pretend you are a fly on the wall when Mary and Joseph are having that conversation. You know, the one where Mary is pleading with him that she has remained pure. The child is from God, not man!
How do you explain that one!?!?
Right from the get-go, God is using the low things of our world to usher in Jesus. This continues with the inn with no rooms, the stable, and the animals. Even a feeding trough for the baby.
Really God, shepherds as a herald for the King of kings?
And Mary is in the middle of all this stuff. She, being a teenager, most likely just passed her adolescence years, is having to carry this ordeal. Again, no pun intended.
But Luke tells us that she treasured and pondered these things.
Parents, how do we deal with the stuff of life?
When we are at a low point, do we treasure and/or ponder?
What is our knee-jerk reaction?
Let’s take a cue from Mary.
Whether we are a parent, soon-to-be-parent, or future candidates for parenting, we can certainly learn from this young but mature woman.
Follow God. Treasure things. Ponder the possibilities.
Who knows what God will bring into the world through us. (Pun intended there)