by Jerry Branch

Don't Let the Stresses Steal the Joy of Christmas
Dr. Jerry Branch
Luke 2:1-20

Video clip (12 Crazy Days of Christmas)

Luke 2:1-20

Joseph and Mary felt the stresses of life back then as well. We usually don't think about what they had to go through, maybe because we get so caught up in just doing life in general, and then adding onto that getting ready for the Christmas holidays...putting up lights and trees; making plans to visit family; finalizing travel plans like getting the car serviced; doing the holiday cooking and baking; trying to do a few good deeds; finishing up school before the Christmas break, and so on. All of that increases our stress-level, to be sure.

But let's pause for just a moment and think back to that BEFORE CHRIST time, back in a land we know as Judah.

Luke 2:1-7 (NIV)

1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register. 4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And let's think as we start with this young lady, Mary, who was about to have a baby...

To start with, just having a baby is stressful for not only the mother to be, but also for the family.

And as we know with 20-20 hindsight, having a baby back then would have been stressful in part because there weren't modern hospitals and nurses and doctors like we have today.

But not only that, but here were Mary and Joseph, and they had no ...

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