In your first, Grace-Full Christmas Present – 1, we looked at Love was Always the plan. In this devotional, Grace-Full Christmas Present – 2, we are going to examine the “sin of Love” – this is where Love breaks out values or our goodness into fragments so small an electron microscope couldn’t see them! The reason this is important is that through this we can grow into His Peace and His Presence in the midst of the worst moments of our lives. I pray this blesses you to read because it sure blessed me to write itJ
“This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 1:18
“Whore!” “Sinner!” “She must be stoned!” “According to the law, she must be stoned!” To say that Mary would have heard these voices in her head and to say that she was a little bit worried over the societal and familial fall out over her condition, is a little bit like saying “space is big!”
There are two ways I know that Grace existed before the cross of Christ, one is the word of God but the second is the sheer fact that Mary survived her pregnancy and because of it PRAISE GOD – Jesus was born, God’s Love took human form and this captive was set FREE!
As we look at your Grace-Full Christmas presents its very important to place the presents into a historical context first – Mary “should have” been stoned, Joseph should have cast the first stone and been disgraced publicly and Jesus never “should have” been born! But then “Love doesn’t follow the rules!” And I Thank God for this with Each and Every Breath!
By this point in her life there is no doubt in my mind that Mary knew her situation and as we will examine in a later study Joseph was already making plans and also in later studies only the truly courageous can Love. But getting back to Mary it is quite possible that she had seen and certainly she had heard of women and men being stoned for far less “sins” than being pregnant outside of marriage. The very idea of sexual relations in her culture outside of marriage could bring such retribution by her society that fear permeated the very idea! The god that her society followed by and large like the gods most follow today was Not The God of Love and Forgiveness but the god of condemnation and judgment!
When Grace begins to enter a person’s life, one reason that the rule book has to be thrown out is that it’s the only way for God’s Love to reach those who need it most! The Love of God will rarely conform to the rules, ways and patterns of societies, groups or even the Bible!
I know this is like a brick in the face of the denomination I was raised in, most churches today and even most ministers – here is why – most want a comfortable god that controls morality, sets boundaries and lets us “feel good” about what we do! This is why it is far more difficult for a religious person to get Grace. This is why America is living a cursed existence and why God may very well have to bring it to its knees so that in that discomfort America can find His comfort!
To get this devotional, to grasp the necessity of its meat is to be able to understand what allowed Mary to have the courage to go on with this task. To get the meaning of this passage is to see what allowed Jesus to calmly accept the cross as His path even though He was sweating drops of blood in His prayers and could have easily Not gone to the cross! To understand this Grace-Full Christmas present 3 words are resoundingly clear – “LOVE FULFILLS LAW!”