All Alone On Christmas

This is part 4 of a series leading up to Christmas Eve and the night of his birth.

grandparents-christmas

Grandparents are the happiest people. Their whole world revolves around the Grandkids, it’s all about the Grandkids. As a child, I loved having Grandma stay with us. She was fun, laughed a lot, and was really cool. She bought me my first skateboard, though I’m not sure she checked with my parents. Grandma was a world class bread maker. After school I’d race home to a slice of her fresh hot bread, with butter and strawberry jam. My Grandma was the best!

Although Jacob is listed as Joseph’s father, there’s no mention of Jesus having Grandparents. If he did, it must have been hard on them. Especially when the family was in Egypt. Grandparents aren’t as happy when the Grandkids live in another country.

On the Messiah’s eighth day he was circumcised, and given the name Jesus. Later, having completed her purification, Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the Temple to consecrate him to God, for he was a first born son. While there, an older man named Simeon came up, took Jesus into his arms and blessed him, very Grandfatherly. His words amazed Joseph and Mary and they marveled at everything he said.

There was an older woman, a prophetess named Anna. When she saw them, she came up to them to give thanks and blessing. She spoke about his future to everyone there, telling how Jesus would restore Israel. She was very Grandmotherly. It was an amazing day for the young family, with so much loving attention from such caring people.

Is that the stuff of good grand-parenting? Embracing the Grandkids, giving thanks to God, and blessing them with words of a spacial future? Jesus was forty-one days old, so I’m not sure how aware he was, but I’m so glad he had Anna and Simeon. Soon, Jesus was taken to Egypt to evade Herod the Great and his murderous plans, which failed. But his son, Herod Antipas, would help finish the job, thirty year’s later.

Christmas is largely about family, with doting Grandparents loving their Grandkids. But on his first birthday, were he and his parents all alone on Christmas? Jesus was far from home, he wasn’t surrounded by a large and loving family, and existed in a world determined to see his death.

I think we owe him a lot.

Marry Christmas!

That’s One Big Rock!

Cornerstone
A cornerstone on the second temple.

One of Jesus’ disciples commented on the massive stones used in the Temple. He likely referred to the southwestern corner of the Temple Mount. As the picture shows, the stones were indeed massive. That cornerstone is 39 feet long, 7 feet wide, and 43 inches high, and weighs eighty tons! “Do you see all these great buildings?” replied Jesus. “Not one stone here will be left on one another; every one will be thrown down” (Mark 13:1-2).

Jesus wasn’t impressed with stones or with Herod’s platform. He saw something different, and he wanted that difference to reside in the lives of his followers. For Jesus is our cornerstone, (Ephesians 3:20, 1 Peter 2:6). And each of us is a living stone (1 Peter 2:5). Together we rise up to be a holy temple in the Lord. In God’s house, the stones will never fall, the building will not collapse. Take heart friends. We are living stones in a temple that is eternal. So stand strong!

This photo gives perspective on how big the stones actually are. These were torn down from the huge archway entering the temple.
This photo gives perspective on how big the stones actually are. These were torn down from the huge archway entering the temple grounds.