Mary hurt. Joseph looked for a place to stay. Mary fed Jesus. Joseph looked for food. Mary spent time thinking about what had happened, the ordinary and the amazing. Joseph arranged for a circumcision. There was a miracle baby, but part of the miracle is that Jesus was a baby. To all outward appearances, a typical baby. To all outward appearances, a typical family, though the subject of rumors.
The day after you receive the most amazing Christmas present, the day after the best party ever, there is a glow. We are excited. We tell everyone. We keep smiling. But now we have to start connecting this miracle with our daily routine, the way we go about living our lives.
The week between Christmas and 2013 is reflection time. What worked, what didn’t. What do I want to do to make the next year better than the last. You are wondering about the integration of the miracle and the mundane, celebration and status quo.
Every morning and every evening, Joseph would have said “Hear, O Israel: the Lord, our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” That first morning after, Joseph would have said the same thing that he always said.
Then, I’m guessing, he would have stopped. And realized that his life had just acquired a new purpose. Because the words from Deuteronomy go on to talk about children. In his last speech to the people of Israel, Moses says to work the words of God into the way you live. Eat and drink and work and rest and laugh and weep, but teach your kids why.
On this morning, Joseph had a child. Time to grow up. An invigorated routine.