Getting to know Joseph

mary and joseph

mary and joseph

Last Sunday we talked about Joseph, who was engaged to be married to Mary, and how hard it must have been for him to hear that she was pregnant with a child that was not his.  We thought together about how difficult it must have been to decide to marry her in that situation, especially if Joseph were just a young man, as he may well have been (perhaps as young as 15 or 16).  And yet Joseph said yes to God, and became a participant in God’s great plan to redeem the cosmos.

Strangely, we know almost nothing about him.  His decision did not result in personal glory, or recognition, or praise.  We have no words from him in the Bible, and virtually no information about him.  What we know is that he was a righteous man who did what God asked him to do.

That’s the kind of man God seems to need most.  That’s the kind of woman God seems to need most.  Not necessarily clever ones, or smart ones, or skilled or gifted ones, or ones who make the best choices and plan better than anyone else, but men and women who will listen faithfully for God’s voice and then do whatever God asks them to do, no matter what it costs.

It can be hard to hear God’s voice in this season of busy activities and shopping and preparation.  It may be even harder to interrupt our notion of what this holiday is supposed to be about to surrender to God’s idea of what this holiday is supposed to be about.  And yet we know from the gospel according to John that we show our love for God by doing what God asks us to do.

This week I hope you’ll find some significant time to give to God – time for reading your Bible; time for sitting quietly in prayer simply offering yourself in God’s service; simply asking God to show you what God wants from you and letting God (and yourself) know that you will do your best to do it.  Whatever it is.  Whatever it costs.  Whatever it means about your present and future.

Do that knowing that nothing is impossible with God.  Do that knowing that the promise of Christmas is that no matter what happens you will never be alone.  That baby in the nativity set is the sign and symbol of God’s promise of presence:  Emmanuel, God who is with us, always and everywhere.  Thanks be to God!


Grace and Peace,

Pastor Deborah

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