"After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen" Matthew 6:9-13 KJV “
I was thinking about this verse, “thy kingdom come” and how it pertains to life now. I was sitting with a few friends talking about the meaning of Christmas when I looked over and saw the infamous tree from “A Charlie Brown Christmas”. I just love that movie, I’ve shared in the past how one of my favorite childhood memories was sitting around the record player listening to this classic. When Charlie Brown gets fed up with the commercialism of Christmas, he yells “Doesn’t anyone know what Christmas is all about?” Linus eagerly answers the question, grabbing his blanket and heading to the center of the stage. The lights dim and he begins to read Luke 2.
As I studied the words of Luke 2, it occurred to me that the birth of Jesus is “thy kingdom come”. I tried to imagine what it must have been like for Mary and Joseph during that time. I will give you my version of the birth of Jesus.
When I think of Mary, I imagine she was a pretty good girl. She had favor with God (Luke 1:30) so I would think she was a pretty obedient young lady. When the angel of the Lord came to her and told her she would conceive and give birth to a son, and that he is to be called Jesus. The angel explains that He will be the Son of the Most High (Luke 1:31). I imagine, she hadn’t even began to sort through all of that before she realized that she had to tell her mother, father, and Joseph her fiancé that she was pregnant. I wonder what people thought of her, a young girl, in those times, pregnant. I can’t even imagine how she told Joseph.
Joseph was a carpenter. He was from a good family, the line of David in fact. I would say that he was a pretty upstanding guy. I wonder if he went to work one morning engaged and when he came home, Mary was waiting for him with some heavy news. The bible says Joseph was faithful to the law so he wanted to divorce Mary quietly so that she wasn’t disgraced (Luke 1:19). I imagine he felt extremely betrayed. Does he really believe the Holy Spirit is how she became impregnated? That, I am sure was a hard pill to swallow. Then the angel of the Lord came upon him in his sleep and told him to marry Mary. Joseph decided to act in faith and obey (Matthew 1:24).
Ok, can we stop here really quickly and think about what they gave up in their lives? Mary gave up her teen years, her family, friends, almost her fiancé, pretty much her life to give birth to a son out of wedlock. Joseph, from a well known family, left his good record of following the law behind to move forward in marriage with a pregnant girl. Can you see it already, obedience comes at a cost. Ok, let’s continue.
Joseph and Mary are heading to Bethlehem to be a part of the census. The three of them, Joseph, Mary, and her unborn baby travel while Mary sits on a donkey. Ok, again I need to stop. I can remember sitting uncomfortably in a car eight months pregnant, let alone a donkey, can you say ouch? So while they are in town, she begins labor pains. Back on the donkey she goes as they try to find a place to stay. Verse 7 says there was no room in the inn for them so they found a manger. The manger was full of animals that shared their space while she gave birth to baby Jesus.
As I recap the pieces of this story, so much doesn’t make sense, like if Mary was carrying the Light of the world, why wouldn’t God allow them to have a room in the inn? Why would Mary, who had given up everything to follow God’s will, have to endure labor pains on the back of a donkey? Did her water break on that poor thing? If Jesus was the Son of God, why was he swaddled and laid in a feeding trough. Remember the animals that were in the manger didn’t travel with Mary and Joseph, it was their manger. Can you imagine how confused the oxen were as their dinner plate was being used as a crib?
I learned two things from this chapter. First, I learned to stop questioning my circumstance. Who am I to think life should be perfect. If God is not going to make Mary’s delivery experience even remotely easy, why would I expect ease as I seek God’s will in my life? Second, when I think of what “thy kingdom come” is pertaining to, it is the night that Christ was born. It was that day that the Son of Man entered our world, in human form and lived, served, taught, and died. He brought the kingdom with him here to earth. I pray that you will ponder on the kingdom that is so readily available. I must warn you, however, though salvation is free, the decision to be obedient can be quite the sacrifice, but it is so worth it. Have a great Christmas with family and friends. Let’s pray:
“Dear Lord, thank You for Your Son, Jesus. Thank You for using just an average girl such as Mary to carry Him. Thank You Father that You loved us enough to send Jesus to take our sin from us. Lord, I come before You humbled, I am sorry for the times I was angry about my circumstance. I know that Your will is beyond my comprehension. I bow down to your Sovereignty. I pray all who read this will have a new perspective of that blessed night Lord that we may look at Christmas for who it’s about, Christ. I pray in the name of Jesus, Amen.”