Sunday, December 23, 2007

Outrageous Scandal!

(Read Matthew 1:18-25)

It's a scandal, it's an outrage!

A 16-year-old girl who is pregnant. And apparently has no reservations about it, does not mind others knowing about it, and is even willing to let folks know who the father is! Can you imagine?!?

It's true. Jamie Lynn Spears has told the world that she is pregnant. She plays a virgin on TV, but apparently in real life she does not have a similar commitment. Some want to dismiss her, as just another celebrity gone wild in her personal life. Others would just like to put her as far
away from the media as possible, so our kids don't get any ideas. Still more, just shake their heads, and wonder about her poor family.

Reminds us of another young girl (probably about the age of Jamie Lynn), not married but 'involved' with some one; a young girl that people expected to behave in a certain way; a young girl who had to let her family and her boyfriend know that she was expecting.

It was a scandal! An outrage!

What Joseph did, I mean. To stand by Mary and support her. To take the heat from family and friends, to bear all the ridicule of his pals down at the pub, to hear and see all the neighbors talking behind their hands as he walked down the street. To be willing to say, "I love her; I believe her; I trust her; I will be with her through all the days to come."

As we walk to the manger, as we pass by the Jamie Lynns of our world, as we see the young girls from the 3rd world countries who have no voice in the matter but are married and bear children into unbearable poverty, as we notice the young (and older) men who struggle to provide for their families in the midst of so many questions, wouldn't it be a scandal, an outrage, if we simply passed them by, dismissing them from our minds, putting them away in that memory bank that says 'not important'?

Prayer: We pray that we will not scandalize you, God-in-all-the-16-year-olds-of-the-world, by our attitudes toward them. Help us to honor you as we help them; to glorify you as we tell them they are your Beloved; to model your trust in us as we entrust them with our hopes and dreams. Amen.

(c) 2007 Thom M. Shuman

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