Day 1 of Bible Freaking – Let it go! Let it go!
On the first day of freaking on a verse or section of the Bible you just envelop the verse(s) with questions. More questions will come as you dig down on the ones you have, but here are my first day of Advent Verses’ questions.
Was the decree part of God’s plan? God had to get Joseph to Bethlehem to fulfill prophecy so is that why the decree?Everyone went to be taxed – everyone? So God knew that city would be packed? Caesar Augustus knew it would be horrible on the people?
How did they know if everyone came? were their accurate censuses in the cities? Did they go after people who didn't come? Was Matthew one of those people who sought people out? were you taxed extra if you didn't come or put in jail?David’s lineage came out of Bethlehem? Is that where David was born?
Joseph and Mary lived in Nazareth? Is Judea a region? Is Galilee a region? isn't that where they ended up after Jesus was out of danger?Were the cities based on the12 tribes? Did each tribe go to a different city?
Why did Mary have to go? Did all the wives go? Were the women taxed or just the men? Children?Were they only taxed once a year? Did all the businesses shut down? Seems very inconvenient so did anyone say the tax collectors should just go around and collect?
Why would God have her travel on the day she is to be delivered? Wouldn’t someone in their family protest? Is God trying to make a statement about unwavering faith in impossible times?Was there nothing to be said about the delivery? Did Joseph deliver the baby? Maybe we make too much of having babies.
She laid him in a manger? Why would Luke report that? What does the manger symbolize? Is it meaningful for many reasons? Was it cold? Why did the birth have to be so difficult? Did the birth circumstance cause Mary and Joseph to doubt? Were they united in their belief of what the angel said to each of them?Why would God send them where there is no room? WAs it a set up? Does it symbolize the lack of room we have for Jesus in our space, lives, time? it seems there would be a lot of families in the stable if the town was packed.
Why were the shepherds not going to their city to pay their taxes? They were in the same country? Israel? Were the shepherds a type of Jesus – abiding? Keeping watch? Even in the night? Had they already gone to pay their taxes and be counted?Why would the angle of the Lord appear to these shepherds? Weren’t there shepherds everywhere? Weren't there more influential people to appear to? Where they Jewish? Is it meaningful that David was a shepherd?
Does the glory of the Lord make you afraid? What does the glory of the Lord look like? If it shone all around did other people see it too?Why would the good tidings to all people come to the shepherds? Did god know that this particular group of Shepherds would receive the message?
Did the shepherds know the prophecies – so that a Savior, city of David, Christ the Lord would be meaningful to them? Were they shepherds who loved God?Where the shepherds looking for a sign? Was the sign that the angels were giving them that they were telling the truth about Jesus. Was the sign so unbelieveable – a baby in a manger – that they would have to believe?
Was the swaddling clothes symbolic of Jesus’ future death? Wasn't it hard to care for him in such a place? Did Mary complain? cry? How did they eat? Where did they take care of their personal needs? Did Joseph stand strong even in this horrible situation with this baby who was not "his?" Did God take them out of the city so the stigma of the child's "early" delivery would not be front and center to the community?Why would God not send the multitude of angels to a big city? Would that not have more impact? Were the angles so excited for men on earth? Were the angles trying to get across that something great had happened? Did the angles select the location or God? Again – seems like a pretty nonproductive choice.
After the angels left did the shepherds really had no choice? They could have been afraid or in shock and remain in their comfortable place, right? Did they had to take the whole flock with them? Wasn't that was an undertaking? how they come with haste?Why does Luke say again that the babe was lying in the manger? was it important that he was lying there when the shepherds came?
How well were the lowly shepherds received when they told their story? Were these shepherds the owners of the sheep or hired help?Do we need to ponder on things to hold on to them? Why did Mary later not want Jesus to risk his life? Had she forgotten all of this? How does a young girl hold this in her heart? Did she talk to people about this as well? Did all her family hear the story? Did Joseph tell his family?
How did they stay faithful to God's call in this horrible situation?