Christmas has always been controversial – right from the start:
The virgin birth
- Even Mary found it difficult at first! Mary is clearly afraid of Gabriel initially. He reassures her, “Don’t be afraid! God is pleased with you”(Luke 1:28).
- When Gabriel tells Mary “you will have a son”, her first question is “How can this happen? I am not married”(Luke 1:34). Gabriel explains simply that “God’s power will come over you”(v.35) for “Nothing is impossible for God”(v.37).
- Mary doesn’t understand fully intellectually (who can?!) but she responds, “I am The Lord’s servant! Let it happen as you have said”(v.38).
- Joseph, who was engaged to Mary, struggled with the news of her pregnancy since they hadn’t slept together: ‘Joseph was a good man and did not want to embarrass Mary in front of everyone. So he decided to call off the wedding quietly. While Joseph was thinking about this an angel from The Lord came to him in a dream. The angel said, “Joseph, the baby that Mary will have is from the Holy Spirit. Go ahead and marry her. Then after her baby is born, name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”’ (Matthew 1:19-21).
More controversy to come – and perhaps a little Dickens 🙂