All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” —which means, “God with us.”
Fulfilling prophecies; it sounds easy doesn't it. But can you imagine being the one tasked with bringing to life the great prophecy of your faith? What pressure, what weight, what burden and yet what an honour. This week we have seen Mary come to terms with her role in the prophecy, whilst Joseph hears the news for the first time. Now, together, they face the world and their future as the parents of the Son of God. There is still no way of knowing whether as a couple they were strengthened by their shared task, as perhaps the image suggests; or whether their relationship was under immense stress.
Today I reflect on the stresses in my own marriage; in the worries and concerns about family life, choices and pressures. I reflect on the love in our marriage and the joy we share in our lives together. Today I realise how Jesus was brought up in a very ordinary human family which I have no doubt had it's ordinary ups and downs, worries and joys, agreements and disagreements. How reassuring this is, that Jesus knew human relationships and therefore knows us in the struggles we face.
Prayer of the day
Lord Jesus you were born to an ordinary family with an extraordinary task. Today we come in thankfulness that you know the ups and downs of human relationships and are with us in these. Keep us hoping and striving together, as you saw your parents do. Amen.