This Christmas season, Mary and Joseph’s stories have been really special to me.
For the past two Wednesday nights, we watched “The Nativity Story” with our youth. If you haven’t seen this movie yet, go out and rent it today. It’s that good. Every time I watch it, I love it even more. They do an absolutely incredible job of portraying what it really could have been like for Mary and Joseph. So often, the story of Jesus’ birth becomes so familiar that it’s no longer special. Or we’ve heard it told to children so often that we view it as a fairytale. “The Nativity Story” will help you see Christmas, Mary and Joseph, and Jesus like never before. One of our students said it was the best movie they’ve ever seen. Again, it’s that good.
There are also some songs about Mary and Joseph that almost make me cry every time I hear them. I find myself wanting to listen to them over and over.
This first song is “Breath of Heaven” by Amy Grant. Someone took the song and put it to clips of “The Nativity Story”. It’s beautiful.
“Joseph’s Lullaby” by MercyMe is one of Michael’s very favorite Christmas songs. I love it too. Joseph gets overlooked a lot, but God chose him to be the earthly father of His Son.
“Magnificat” by Todd Agnew is also wonderful. It’s Mary’s song that she sings as recorded in Scripture. It’s just amazing to me that these are the words she chose to sing in response to being told she would carry God’s Son. This is put to other scenes from “The Nativity Story”.
Dave Barnes is one of our favorite artists, and he has a new Christmas album out this year. “Mary and Joseph” is a story of Mary and Joseph as they might have been today. I can’t find a video of it, so I’ll post the lyrics.
Mary was the first of three
Long black hair and sugar sweet
Daddy’s eyes and Momma’s crooked smile
She was barely seventeen
Got a job keepin dishes clean
Planned to stay in this city for awhile
Joseph ran a lumber yard
About a mile from olive park
Quiet boy he never had much to say
It was love right from the start
He bought a ring and won Mary’s heart
Had hopes for a home and kids someday
The angel scared her half to death
She would’ve screamed but she lost her breath
On a midnight there in the middle of May
He said “Oh mary don’t be afraid
You’ll bear a son that the Lord has made
Name him Jesus, He’ll light the way.”
She packed the clothes, he made the plans
They had to go to Bethlehem
But there was nowhere left to stay
So in a barn she gave birth
To the King of Kings the Lord of Earth
Just a little bitty thing sleeping on the hay
Sleeping on the hay
The story’s too long to tell
But he walked on water and lived through hell
Killed on a cross and rose from the grave
We got a King they got a son
Mary and Joseph were the only ones
There on that very first Christmas day
There on that very first Christmas day
Lastly, I’m reading a book by Francine Rivers about Mary. It’s from her “A Lineage of Grace” book (five stories of unlikely women who changed eternity), and Mary’s story is called “Unashamed.” (They can be purchased as one book or individually.) I’ve loved reading about the other four women listed in Jesus’ genealogy, and it’s perfect that I’m to Mary’s story during this Christmas season. Each story is only around 100 pages, and I can’t tell how much I’ve been touched by these stories. I highly recommend them to anyone, but especially to women of all ages (from late high school to elderly). The stories are: TAMAR — Betrayed by the men who controlled her future, she fought for her right to believe in a loving God.; RAHAB — A woman with a past to whom God gave a future.; RUTH — She gave up everything, expecting nothing, and God honored her.; BATHSHEBA — Her beauty stirred the passion of a King. Her pain moved the heart of God.; MARY — All eternity had been waiting for this moment. She responded in simple obedience to God’s call.
I’ve been so touched by Joseph and Mary’s story this season, and I pray that these things might have touched you as well.
PS. You can click on any of the different song, etc. names and they’ll take you to the Amazon page where you can look at the product.