Have you ever considered just how amazing the Christmas story is from a novelist's perspective? I love when Scripture comes to life (it truly is living, active, and sword-like) and particular events leap off the page and touch your heart. Novelists spend a lot of time plotting and creating character motivations and story arcs and whatnot. So it shouldn't surprise us that the Master Storyteller came up with some very dramatic elements when crafting the tale of His son's entrance into the world.
Take Mary, for example, our female protagonist or heroine. Scholars think she was probably 14 or 15 years old. She was from a poor, conservative Jewish family. Girls that age tend to do a lot of dreaming about the future and I'm sure she was no different. She may have been attracted to a man in her village. It might not have been Joseph. Theirs was an arranged marriage, remember. Most certainly she was modest, devout, and obedient. Life was hard. She was probably the last girl the local gossips would have whispered about. And then...the inciting incident occurs. She's going to have a baby. Imagine her initial shock, the crumbling of her girlish dreams, her fear of telling her parents and the news leaking to her small circle.
And our hero? Joseph was older and more mature but this may have caused him more grief. He knew that people have a long memory concerning scandal. No doubt the villagers looked askance at him or pitied him for her unfaithfulness. Imagine his crushing suspicions about the girl he was pledged to marry. This was considered adultery under Mosaic law and carried the death penalty by stoning. His hopes for a respectable family and future turn to ashes. Being an honorable man, as our heroes have to be, he wanted to do the right thing. He was going to quietly put her aside.
Suddenly the drama and tension begin to skyrocket:) She tells him something that makes her look infinitely foolish - even crazy. She's still pure and is going to have God's son. What?! I can imagine Mary still trying to make sense of it all and poor Joseph struggling for words. Then imagine having some heavenly reinforcement in the form of a dream. Take her as your wife.
Finally they live happily-ever-after, right? No, there's still the long journey to Bethlehem to pay taxes at a very inopportune time. Imagine how tired Mary was, how embarrassed she must have been since there was no woman or midwife to attend her. Think how frustrated Joseph must have felt in failing to find a decent place for her to have a child not his own. Then imagine that incredible star and the wonder of the shepherds and the amazement of the Magi. All the makings of a bestselling book:) Which it is.
What part of the Christmas story has special meaning to you?