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Tales of Fantasy, Mystery and Adventure Under the Influence of Christian Homeschooling

S. A. J. Lyttek, a multiple award-winning writer, always loved writing, but didn’t arrive at the profession in the typical manner. After college and graduate school, she plunged into government consulting. In this environment, she discovered a knack for writing tests, interviews and other measurements. That soon became the focus of her career—reigniting her love for the written word. Thus captivated, she spent evenings freelancing “fun” writing including short stories, poems, articles and cards. When her eldest was a toddler, she quit full-time work to stay home and write. Eager to spend more time with her children, homeschooling intrigued her. From preschool through high school, she homeschooled both sons while continuing to freelance. An integral part of the homeschooling community, she has developed and taught writing classes to a generation of homeschoolers. Married to her childhood sweetheart, Gary, Mrs. Lyttek loves to share her commitment to homeschoolers and her fascination with the written word.

Mary and Joseph, Part 1

12/1/2021 9:26:00 AM BY Susan Lyttek

For the blogs of December, I will be focusing on Joseph and Mary. Years ago, I took one year to blog about Anna from the book of Luke. Another year, I looked at Simeon. I chose them because both of them were lesser known.

This year, I decided on Joseph and Mary because everyone, including me, thinks they know a fair amount about the two humans who were chosen to parent Jesus. They’ve been talked about a lot in Christmas carols, Christmas sermons and Christmas books. Is there anything new for me to learn about them?

Maybe. Maybe not. But it doesn’t matter. I have learned over the years that digging into the Scriptures is never unfruitful.

I will start my investigation in the book of Luke. According to legend, Doctor Luke actually interviewed Mary. Granted, she would have been much older at that point, probably in her early fifties. Joseph had died before Jesus’ ministry or at least before the wedding at Cana because Mary attended on her own. Still, it is likely he died while Jesus was in his 20s because Jesus was known as a carpenter which was his earthly father’s occupation, meaning he had probably taken over the business.

Okay, but back to Mary.

Luke interviewed her many years after the events. But, to me, that’s even more reason to trust that her memory was accurate.

Just last week, someone was talking about childhood memories and asked if I remembered my grade school teachers. Yep. I listed every one of them. I could probably place somebody in the school and give them directions to all the classrooms I spent time in too. The older I get the clearer the memories of my childhood become. It’s odd, but true. When I talk with my dad, he mentions the same thing. He can remember very specific details about the building he lived in and who lived where.

Why am I focusing so much on childhood memories?

Mary was likely very young when the angel appeared to her. Joseph would have to be old enough to have a career and earned the resources to build a home, but Mary would not have been older than 16 and the chances are that she would have been 13 or 14.

The details of something so incredible, so miraculous and so out of the ordinary would blaze into her brain. These are things she would never forget. No wonder the Bible says she pondered these things in her heart. As Jesus grew, as she saw him relate to his brothers and sisters and the world around him, she pondered. Sometimes she understood, like at the foot of the cross, other times she didn’t like when she asked him to give preferential treatment to his immediate family. But she grew in knowledge over time and she continually pondered.

Yes, I know that God is in charge of Scripture and he ensured that Luke got the details right, I’m just saying that Mary didn’t need a lot of supernatural prompting to remember.

Trust me, she remembered.

She remembered every moment as the early church took off. She thought of that day the angel came to speak to her and felt overwhelmed by how God used her and her willingness to change the world. She thought of what she had known about Jesus as his mother and what she was constantly learning about him as her savior. She thought of all the ways she had misunderstood him and his purposes and rejoiced that he loved her enough to make certain John, the longest living apostle, provided for her care.

She remembered.

She pondered.

In that light, I’d like to challenge us to walk in Mary’s footsteps this Christmas. May we continue to remember previous Christmases and how God has blessed us. May we ponder how Jesus has caused us to grow and grow closer to him. May we remember that God is for us, so who can truly be against us.