It is nearing Christmas Day and the bundle of joy – the Babe in the manger – will be making His appearance. All month long we have decorated our churches and our homes, our cities and offices in joyful celebration. We have gone caroling, listened to cantatas and hummed Christmas songs in our cars.
But it is not all joy. When Mary was told that she would give birth, this young unwed mother surely endured sneers, teasing and cruelty at the hands of the religious folk. I fear we have not changed as much as we would like to say we have.
“A woman’s greatest calling is in being a wife and mother” a young Christian woman was near tears when telling me what her women friends at church said to her.
There was no joy in her voice as she related those words to me. She was married but could not have children. Unlike Sarah, Hannah, and Elizabeth, there would be no bundle of joy from a barren womb.
But here she was, in this 21st Century being told that she was missing out on God’s call to be a mother and by inference, was an incomplete woman. Just like religious women have been made to feel for centuries.
Jesus was born into a world much like ours today. Wars, turbulence, anger, helplessness, sickness, poverty and greedy governmental control. Yet we hear the proclamation “Joy to the World! The Lord has come!”
We are Christians and it high time we began acting like it. This Babe came to tell us “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Do good to those who hurt you. Don’t be the one who is hurting others. Don’t destroy their joy but bring joy to them.
2016 is almost over. What joy have you brought to the world? Have you told a woman that her worth is in giving birth? Have you stepped on women in order to elevate men? Or have you told women that they themselves are joy, made complete by their Creator, the Lord God!
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