Whoville: Mary and Joseph
Locations & Times
  • ONE*
    15601 E 24th Ave, Spokane Valley, WA 99037, USA
    Sunday 8:00 AM
Every Christmas we drive past Nativity scenes in our community. Most of those Nativity scenes include, Mary and Joseph, baby Jesus, shepherds, the Magi or the three wise men, an ox, a donkey and a few sheep. But what does the bible say? Who was really at the birth of Jesus?
Okay, before I go any further, I just want you to know that I’m not suggesting you need to get rid of your Nativity scene, I’m just making sure we all know WHO attended the first Christmas.
1. Jesus was there.
2. Mary was there.
3. Was Joseph there?
4. Animals? Some believe they were there but the Bible doesn’t mention them. So, why are they included in most Nativity Scenes?

· The birth occurred where animals were stalled and protected.
· The very first nativity scene included them.

St. Francis of Assisi, who is credited with staging the first nativity scene in 1223. The only historical account we have of Francis’ nativity scene comes from The Life of St. Francis of Assisi by St. Bonaventure, a Franciscan monk who was born five years before Francis’ death.

According to Bonaventure’s biography, St. Francis got permission from Pope Honorious III to set up a manger with hay and two live animals—an ox and a donkey—in a cave in the Italian village of Grecio. He then invited the villagers to come gaze upon the scene while he preached about “the babe of Bethlehem.” (Smithsonian Magazine)
6. How about Angels? Angels did appear to the Shepherds but there is no mention of angels being present at the birth of Jesus.
7. Were the three wise men there with their camels and gifts?
No, there were no Magi or wise men at the birth of Christ.
For the next three weeks leading up to Christmas, we are going to take a closer look at the “who’s who” of the first Christmas.
This weekend we are going to take a closer look into the lives of Mary and Joseph. Who were they? What did God have to tell them? And finally, how does their journey apply to us?
Who were Mary and Joseph?
We know that Mary was from the tribe of Judah, and in the line of King David. She became the wife of Joseph, son of Heli. It is never mentioned who Mary's parents were, but based on the knowledge of Mary's character found in the Scriptures, it is believed that she came from a godly home of devout Jews.
That’s the story from Mary’s perspective but what was Joseph going through? What was he thinking?
But something happens to Joseph that changes his mind.
Joseph on the other hand goes to his Jewish parents and tells them that an angel appeared to him, telling him that Mary, his fiancé was with child and that Mary had not been unfaithful with a man but faithful to God.
Mary and Joseph were human. They didn’t understand everything God was telling them but they chose to trust God even when they didn’t understand.
What can we learn from Mary and Joseph and apply it to our lives?
I thought about what she was sharing and how hearing from God changed everything for her. Hearing what God has to tell you is one thing but obeying what He tells you is the big thing.
That’s what happened to Mary and Joseph. God had something to tell them and they had a responsibility to obey Him.
God has something to tell you. He has something to say to you.
What is God saying to you? Has He told you something?
That’s the first thing we can learn from Mary and Joseph. God has something He wants to tell us or say to us.
Second, Mary and Joseph help us understand how to respond to God.
Listen to Mary’s response to the news from Gabriel:
“I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.”
How did Joseph respond to his dream?
Listen for what God has to say and then obey.
God has something to tell you. He has something to say to you. After He does we are faced with a decision, to obey or not to obey.
I encourage you to go after the thing God has been speaking to you and if you haven’t heard anything begin to listen. It will be good for you and for others.
Mary and Joseph were normal people just like you and me but God had something to tell them and He has something to tell you. He had something to speak to them. After they heard from God they obeyed Him. What has God been saying to you?