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Safe Place with Ruth Graham

I have been blogging about transparency.

As we approach Christmas, and we read the all too familiar Christmas story what strikes me is that it is full of transparency. Mary was pregnant out of wedlock – a situation that could have meant a sentence of death by stoning. But she trusted God and didn’t hide the fact – she was open and honest as she trusted God to be true to His word. Can you imagine how you would have felt? To be pregnant was one thing but then to see the disappointment in the face you the man who loved you. To face the questions of your family, the scorn of the community.  I am certain  Joseph had serious doubts when Mary told him that she was pregnant and the none other than God was the father! Yea, right Mary! Talk about a hard pill to swallow. What about his family? Good grief! He came from a godly heritage. We are told he was a righteous man and he loved Mary, wanting to protect her. His first response was not to shame her but to protect. What a man!

Then there is Zacharias the priest who received the similar news.Was it even impossible? When the angel showed up to tell him it was indeed God’s doing we are told he was gripped by fear – the paralyzing, consuming kind of fear. I would be too. The first thing the angel told him was, “fear not.” Elizabeth had suffered infertility for many years which was considered a curse by God. She would have been considered less than a woman – until God told her husband, the priest, that she was to have a child. What joy for them after all those barren years. But  Zacharias  had doubts.

I am glad that the Bible is transparent about the frailties and humanness of biblical characters. They were far from perfect. Adam was a weasel blaming his wife, Eve. She turned and blamed him! Their son killed his brother. Talk about dysfunction!  Noah got drunk. David was adulterer. Jacob was a liar. Moses and Paul were  murderers. Peter was impulsive and lied about knowing Jesus. Judas was, well, he was Judas. (My mother used to say, “no one is useless they can always serve as a bad example!”) Martha whined.  Peter and Paul had strong disagreement. Yes, the Bible shows warts and all – transparent. Why? What’s the point? That we may see how God transformed them for His glory. God uses broken people. He is comfortable with broken people – that’s you and me!

Yes, God, Himself is transparent in the Christmas story. He made Himself vulnerable – putting His heart out for all to see knowing He would be rejected. Knowing His only Son would be murdered by the very people He loved so much.

Transparency is a god-thing.

 

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