The First Christmas Letter...
Greetings to my loved ones far and near. I must write down my thoughts tonight. My heart is racing and my head is spinning at the events of this day – even this year! I hardly know where to start to tell you about the amazing things that have happened in the life of this lowly carpenter in this past year.
Let us begin at the beginning. As many of you have no doubt heard, Mary, my Mary, my beautiful bride to be, was found to be with child while we were yet betrothed to be married. I cannot begin to tell you the thoughts that ran through my mind when she told me this news. I could not even comprehend what she was telling me. Knowing we had not yet been together as husband and wife, I knew the law would find her guilty and ascribe to her the death penalty for her condition. But, how could I do this to Mary, my sweet Mary? I was so hurt at the thought of Mary being with another man. But what she told me next was almost too much for me to comprehend. Mary, my darling, the love of my life, told me that an angel had appeared to her and told her that she would have a baby boy, by the power of the Holy Spirit. I was speechless at what she was telling me. How could I take this seriously? No man had ever had his beautiful wife to be tell him such a tale. And yet, I know Mary to be so honest – I have never found her in a lie... Yet, these events seemed too much to believe.
Vicious rumors had already begun to fly. She had cheated on me, she was playing me for the fool, she was no better than the girls that slept around and than lied to cover up their sin. It broke my heart to hear the filthy things that were being whispered about her. I was in agony, not knowing what to do for my beautiful bride to be, caught in this nightmare of ugly circumstances. Yet, to watch Mary was a thing of beauty. She never wavered from her story. She seemed to delight in the memory of it...I had never seen her more beautiful than she was as she carried her baby for those nine months.
I turned to the Lord in agony, begging Him to help me in my decision about my Mary. Gloriously, He answered my prayer! An angel appeared to me while I was tossing and turning in my sleep. I hadn't been able to eat or sleep for weeks, fighting the decision of putting away my darling Mary from me forever. But then, suddenly, out of nowhere, there stood an angel of the Lord right before my eyes! All of you who know me, know that I am a simple man. I have never been given to visions and such. But, I know what I saw and I know what I heard! Here was an angel telling me 'not to be afraid to take Mary as my wife!' I don't need to tell you how absolutely thrilled I was to hear those words! He confirmed that Mary was with child from the Holy Spirit! He told me the child she was carrying would be a boy and that I should name him, Jesus “for He shall save His people from their sins...” I am sure I didn't hear a word anyone said to me after that! I wanted to go to Mary that night, and take her to be my wife!
I do not understand all that is going on in our world. I am a simple carpenter and my wife just a simple carpenter's wife. But, God has chosen us – Mary to bare the child that prophets foretold from of old. She is the virgin that they spoke of saying “a virgin shall be with child...!”
Who are we to be chosen for such a glorious task – to bring safely into the world the Son of the Most High? Tonight, after many days of travel, my beautiful Mary gave birth to her first born child. The King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, Emmanuel, Our God is with us! I wept when I saw Him for the first time! He is tiny and wrinkly and cried so loudly when He entered this world. It was as if He was announcing to all the world – finally – I AM HERE!
I am so humbled by the birth of this little Jesus. I do not understand even half of what has happened in my world this past year. I have so little to give this little King. I am a poor man. I could not even give Him a bed on the night of His birth into this world. His beautiful mama and I shivered in a cave under the starry sky tonight, whispering a prayer of thanksgiving that God, our God, has blessed us with this baby. I do not know what the future holds for my little family. I only know I love this baby and His mama. I will give my life to take care of them as long as I am able.
Please pray for me and my wife. We need the Lord to strengthen us for whatever lies ahead. I know it will not be easy. His very birth was scandalous. Poor Mary has already suffered greatly from the vicious rumors that circulate about her. But, no matter what the future holds, Mary and I are in it together. We are in agreement about this one thing. Our Jesus is worth it. He is worth it all...
Scripture Reference: Luke 2: 10-11 NKJV
“Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day, in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”