The Shepherd's Heart/The season of wonder

Thursday, December 21, 2006

As I look around at all the lights and listen to all of the noise of the season; as I ease my way through lines at checkout counters; I wonder if we've really lost sight of what this magical season of wonder is all about.

It must have been a wondrous time for Joseph and Mary. There in that lowly place where their son was born, they must have wondered what might become of this precious child. After the events that led to his birth, they must have been amazed that he was now here. They must have felt even more assurance about what the future held for that little baby boy when the priestly shepherd's from Megdal Edder came running into town to see if what the angels had told them was true.

In that short time between the child's birth and the sudden race to Egypt to escape the death ordered by the king, they must have had some great times of bonding, the three of them.

I wonder what it felt like for Joseph -- to know that this child was not really his but the very son of God. I wonder if he felt inadequate to raise the boy up in his own home. I wonder if he wondered what he had gotten into. I wonder if he felt that the life of a carpenter may not be good enough for the son of God? Did he ever reach for a switch to discipline the boy only to stop at the thought that this child was not really his? I wonder if he trembled and wept over the enormity of it all and if he had any idea what would become of this boy and his mother when the elder carpenter breathed his last breath?

I wonder if Mary lost track of the truth that this child would one day rule the nations; that he would walk on water; that he would become the Savior all of mankind? Did she have any idea what scriptures and prophecies were fulfilled as this child came forth from her womb?

I wonder if she ever tired of being a mom. I wonder if she ever woke Joseph in the night and said, "Here, it's your turn to rock him to sleep."

I imagine these parents were awed by the star; that they were startled by the angels; that they were amazed at the child's beauty and character. I wonder if they knew that the birth of this one child would change the course of history for all time.

Merry Christmas, and may you all be blessed by this season of wonder.

The Shepherd's Heart appears on Thursday.