Thanks for sticking with me. Only one more day of Advent. Christmas is almost here!
During the month before their wedding in mid-June, both Dad and Mom faced additional stress above and beyond making plans for the wedding ceremony. Dad took his final exams at his seminary, graduated first in his class (tying for that spot with his roommate), faced his ordination exam, and then planned for his ordination into ministry.
For her part, my mother had to wrap up her teaching for the semester. Her visa permitting her to stay in the USA was expiring. Would Uncle Sam kick her out right after the wedding? But she had the extra stress of worrying about her parents back in Ireland: Due to WWII shortages growing worse by the day, as my dad explained to his parents, “they no longer have coal [for heat], all private cars are off the road [no gas]…The worst part is the long queues of poor people waiting at bread shops. The bread is just black bread and no flour to be available until June or July.”
Somehow, in that month, Dad did graduate and was ordained, Mom finished teaching her classes, and her parents survived the war. And, the wedding went forward!
Christmas is coming. We have no idea what feelings went through Jesus in that final week before He was born. Labor and delivery is a traumatic experience for both mother and child. But we do know that Jesus experienced stress in His final week of life on earth. He bore the pressure of knowing Judas was about to betray Him. Guards beat, mocked and spat upon Him. He faced a farce of a trial. Nails pierced His hands. Acts 2:25-27 reveals some of His emotions: “I see that the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. No wonder my heart is glad, and my tongue shouts his praises! My body rests in hope. For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your Holy One to rot in the grave.” His body waited in hope.
As we have already seen, being a believer does not exempt any of us from the stress and problems of life. Yet we too can have hope!