Recently, I reflected back on the Christmas season and I was struck by one element that hadn’t occurred to me before. Usually my thinking goes to the incarnation and Jesus coming as the King of kings, but instead I began to ponder the family that Jesus was placed into. Mary was an ordinary girl in an ordinarily town who was betrothed to an ordinary man. What was so special about Mary and Joseph? The Bible doesn’t say a whole lot about either of them; of Mary it remarks that she “found favour with God” (Lk 1:30) and Joseph was referred to as a “just man” (Mt 1:19) when he graciously tried to end their betrothal quietly rather than subjecting Mary to public humiliation. The fact is, what Mary and Joseph did out of loving obedience to God, is that they had a baby, they had a home, they lived life in a normal first-century fashion.
Now this baby was the Lord Jesus Christ, God very God, and the majesty of what took place cannot be fully comprehended, but from Mary and Joseph’s day to day experience, they were parents. Mary kept busy with her duties while Joseph was working as a carpenter (or builder). They had other children to raise and at some point Joseph drops out of the picture (presumably he must have died), so Mary had to continue life alone.
The lesson that we can draw from this and apply to our lives, is that our seemingly mundane life, with its daily problems and successes has tremendous value if lived under the Lordship of Christ! If God saw fit to place His only Son into the care of a normal family, then our normal families can bring glory to God without having to do “extraordinary” things.
2 Corinthians 4:7 says “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us”. We are simple clay pots. The extraordinary thing is not us, but Christ. Just as Joseph and Mary were privileged with Jesus as a baby we are privileged to have Christ in us so that He can be glorified as He works through us in the day to day things of life.