Meditations From the Heart
1/2/16 at 12:58 PM 0 Comments

Rumors

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As I was reading the Christmas story out of Luke chapters 1 and 2 about a week or so before Christmas, the question arose in my mind. How did the neighbors on Mary’s street react to this episode in their neighborhood? I started to imagine.

 One of their neighbors – a nice quiet girl named Mary – could always be seen on any given day living her life. Then it happened that some days passed, and Mary was not seen by the neighbors. One may wonder, “What happened to Mary?”

 Now imagine you were living on Mary’s street during that time. Knowing yourself as you are now, how would you have reacted to Mary’s absence? Some of us would have said to ourselves, “I haven’t seen Mary in a while, I wonder if she is okay. Oh well.” We would continue on with our business. Most men would react in this manner. However, not many of us ladies would. We would, want to know what’s going on.

 Some days ago I was listening to a talk show on radio, and the topic was on rumors. Some listeners called in and shared an experience they had with rumors. I thought then, this question I have is legitimate. Let us explore it.

 The text in Luke chapter 1 tells us an angel appeared to Mary and told her she would have a son. After that announcement from the angel Mary went and visited her cousin Elisabeth. Mary stayed with Elisabeth three months. (No mention is made in the Gospels of Mary’s parents or guardians, as was made with Esther in Esther chapter 2.) Mary was not at home. Did tongues begin to wag? Let us explore some personality type behaviors.

 One lady may visit her neighbor and say. “Have you seen Mary?” The neighbor might say. “Now that you mention it, I haven’t seen her in a while. Have you heard something?” The 1st lady: “No. I thought you knew.”

Another bold neighbor not having seen Mary in a while would go to Mary’s home, knock on the door, and as Mary’s mother answer the door. She would question her about Mary’s absence. Another lady in the neighborhood would lie in wait for Mary’s mother or her best friend, and confront either with the burning question, “Where is Mary?” in a deceptive manner. Imagine a neighbor – a trusted friend – visits Mary’s mother. Mary’s mother relates the entire encounter Mary had with the angel. That neighbor takes it all in, and cannot wait to whisper the story to one of the gossipers on the block. Then the rumors begin.

Many of the neighbors cannot wait to see Mary on her return from her cousin. Even some husbands would be on the lookout for Mary, because their wives told them their version of the event and added some.

 We can think there was some tension or pressure brought to bear on Joseph. An angel appeared to him in a dream and said, “do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit”. Matthew 1:20. “Do not be afraid”. Joseph might have been afraid of what his family, friends and neighbors would say. He was afraid.

 God is So Awesome on so many levels, all levels even. God moved Caesar Augustus to order a decree that everyone had to be registered. Joseph and Mary had to go to Bethlehem the City of David because Joseph had to register there. Joseph “was of the house and lineage of David.” Luke 2:4. As well as Jesus being the son of David, he had to be born in Bethlehem. No doubt, this move to Bethlehem spared Mary from gossip and rumors? Everyone on her block and the block over may have wanted to see who the baby resembles.

 Just imagine how you would have reacted to Mary’s pregnancy if you had lived on Mary’s street. Would you or I have believed the story of the visitation of the angel, or would we have joined the rumor association on Mary’s street.

Gossiping and rumor mongering (whisperers) are truly bad habits and they are mostly sinful. These behaviors rank with other sins such as murder and violence in Romans 1:29, 30, but somehow we do not recognize these two evils as being in these categories. I wonder why.

 If we have a problem with gossiping or with the spreading of rumors, let us pray and ask the Lord to rid us of these behaviors in 2016. Let us think of the person (s) to whom the rumors are alleged, and how their lives may be affected.

If necessary, shun those who will seek you out to spread a rumor until the Lord strengthens you in this area of weakness.

Scripture quotes are from the NKJV

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