The Birth of Jesus
The birth of Jesus took place like this. his mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. Before they came to the marriage bed, Joseph discovered she was pregnant. (It was by the Holy Spirit, but he didn’t know that.) Joseph, changrined but noble, determined to take care of things quietly so Mary would not be disgraced. – Matthew 1:18-19 The Message
Have you suffered under the ruthless hands of shame? Maybe you’ve had the weighty shadow of shame cast upon you by a society, or a people group, — or those you love? Perhaps you’ve stood strong under the weight of shame for simply saying “yes” to God’s will in your life. Maybe our broken world gifted you with shame before birth? Shame comes in all kinds of packages.
Mary was as human as you and me. While she knew whose child she carried inside her chosen body — she was also confronted with the shame of her culture. I imagine it would have been difficult not to receive shame projected upon her as Joseph wrestled with the news of her pregnancy. Was her integrity questioned? Was she accused unfairly? Did she feel rejection from the one who held her future in his hands? Did she feel isolated, abandoned, — alone? Did she suffer heart ache?
Shame is easily handed off — even, when it’s unjust, cruel, and unwarranted.
Take heart. God sent his very own messenger, the angel Gabriel to rescue Mary. He loves you none the less. He will rescue you too. Rest assured in His plan for you. Even if you can’t see it. Keep your eyes on the end of the day — His purpose, His plans, His way, His great big love for you.
He is your Immanuel — God with you!
Refuse shame at every port of entry. It does not belong to you. Jesus took all shame upon Himself. All shame. It is not yours.
Rest, even if misunderstood. Immanuel, God with us, understands you well.
I believe you make His heart smile every time He thinks of you.
“Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.” Matthew 1:23 NLT
The entire nativity story was written for you. Wrapped in every written word is a gift of peace. One sent to a broken and hurting world. It’s the good news!