It's easy to glamorize the story of Christmas: angelic light, exuberant shepherds, cooperative animals, and picturesque parents with a baby. The reality of that story was probably the opposite of our modern nativity scenes. The angels were frightening, the shepherds were confused, the animals were noisy, the parents were weary, and the baby was crying.
It's also easy for to reread the Christmas story of Luke 2 and to assume that Mary and Joseph readily accepted their calling without any ifs, ands, or buts. Nothing could be further from the truth. They were probably filled with questions--and with doubts. How could this all be real--God saving the world through a baby? Even in the midst of a joyful season, many of us still experience pain and loss. This can be a lonely time. This can be a time of questioning God's goodness in a broken world. In the story of Christmas, let us remember that along with the great faith of Jesus' earthly parents came human questioning and doubts.
This song by 4HIM gives voice to Joseph, who never speaks in the Scriptures. In his voice are hesitant wonderings of "why?" God invites us not to be afraid to voice our questions and concerns. Don't be afraid to be human because that's what we are. And that's what Jesus became so that we might embrace "a Love that reached so far."
Merry Christmas to each of you, my friends. Embrace that Love as you would an infant, and you'll find those tiny arms reaching out to hold you in return--no matter how many questions or wonderings you bring to the manger.