Yesterday I listened to Chris Fabry Live as he and his listeners and guests discussed Luke 1 and 2....Jesus' conception through birth and the things we do and don't know about what happened when God chose to come to earth in the form of an infant.
Of course, I have read and heard and seen the story many times in my 67 years but Chris and his listeners helped me see a back story I had never thought about.
The prelude begins with the angel Gabriel announcing to Zechariah that he and his wife Elizabeth were going to have a son in their old age and they were to name him John. Six months later Gabriel announces to Mary that she is going to become pregnant by the Holy Spirit and bear God's son Jesus. Gabriel also tells Mary about her relative Elizabeth's pregnancy and Mary goes to visit her right away. The baby in Elizabeth's womb leaps when she sees Mary.
What hit me for the first time, was Jesus and John's relationship. They were related; I think I knew that; but what all does that imply? There was six months difference in their ages. Did their mothers get together and the boys have a first century version of a play date? Was John along when Jesus and his family took that famous journey to the temple? Were they close? The Bible doesn't tell us.
The Bible does tell us they were chosen to be in the same family. Both conceptions were miraculous. Their mothers were very close friends and they were related.
What does this have to do with me? with you?
As I pondered these things in my heart, and thought about who was in the family I was adopted into, I thought about my cousin Dottie. She was the daughter of my Dad's brother. Our Moms got along better with each other than any one else in Dad's family. We probably only saw each other a couple of times a year but Dottie found a connection with me. I was six or seven years younger than she was. I got some nice hand me downs from her. (I didn't have any sisters and I wanted hand me downs.) She asked me to be in her wedding although I was a bratty 14 year old at the time and pretty unattractive.
Dottie's first child, Cathy, was handicapped. Dottie was an elementary school teacher and she was exposed to rubella (measles) during her pregnancy. After many doctor consults Dottie decided to take Cathy to the Institute for Brain Damage in Media, PA. She did a complex program called patterning to stimulate Cathy's brain and regenerate damaged and destroyed brain cells.
Fast forward..... I get married and have twin boys. The boys are exposed to an infection in the hospital. The oldest and smallest baby, Todd, becomes infected, has convulsions and is brain damaged. Eventually, I too make my way to the Institute for Brain Damage and begin the patterning program with him.
Of course, Dottie and I have a bond like no other. We have a history. We both become born again Christians. Our children are pretty close considering we live 500 miles apart. Was it an accident or a coincidence I was adopted into this family and had a bond with this person? I don't think so.
I am not sure what all this means to you and to me today. The Bible says in Psalm 68:6 "God puts the solitary in families." Family is important to God.... He created Family. He placed Jesus and John in families. He placed you in a particular family for a particular reason. And that is something to think about.
I would love to hear your thoughts.