Did you ever wonder about Mary and Joseph after all the hoopla ended? There they were, miles from home, in a barn where their Firstborn had come into the world. Baffled by visits from shepherds, chosen by God to be earthly parents of the Savior, their bewilderment must have been great. What are we to do now? They must have thought.
Instead of fretting about it, they went about being good Jews. The law called for them to have the Child circumcised and then go to the temple for the rite of purification, to present their heavenly Son to the Lord. And so they went. There they met Simeon and Anna, whose words must have puzzled them even more. They not only heard praises about their Son but also strange and ominous predictions
And yet, after all this was over, Mary and Joseph returned home to Nazareth and began to live as most other parents did. There were daily tasks to be done. There was a Child to raise. There were the Jewish laws to keep. And so they lived as good Jewish people, keeping the faith of the generations before them. Perhaps they remembered that Isaiah had said that the Lord God would cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations.
Perhaps they knew, more than we realize, that their earthly Son, Jesus, and God’s heavenly Son, Emmanuel, was to be the One to put that into place. But in the meantime, life in Nazareth went on.
Life after Christmas must go on. The waiting is over; the celebrating is over; the special foods are either eaten or frozen. Decorations are put in boxes to be stored for another year. And for the rest of the year…?
Let us remember Mary and Joseph. They went about keeping the faith that they had been taught. In the ordinary time that is coming, and until next Christmas, let each of us keep the faith as children of God and heirs of God’s reign.
God, You are a parent to us all. Help us, like Jesus, to grow, to become strong, and to become wise in Your ways. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen. (EXCERPT FROM “EVERLASTING LIGHT” BY SANDY DIXON)