As we continue to move towards Christmas, on Sunday we come to the character of Joseph. Matthew focuses his attention on a visit between an angel and Joseph.
It’s a story that has always fascinated me. Put yourself in Joseph’s shoes.
You’ve tried to do everything right in life, you’ve faithfully gone to the synagogue and the temple, you’ve tried to obey the law, and most recently you’ve gotten engaged to a young woman. You have a normal, uncomplicated life. You’re even known as a faithful, devoted, righteous kind of guy.
And then, you find out the woman you are supposed to marry is pregnant.
And you know that you haven’t slept with her, so there can only be one logical conclusion, she’s been sleeping around.
You’re devastated. And suddenly your normal, uncomplicated life feels like a mess. And you have no good option to choose.
So, even though you don’t agree with Mary’s choices, you don’t want Mary to be killed for them, so you resolve to leave her quietly. Your hope is that after a quiet divorce, you’ll find another young woman to marry, and your normal, uncomplicated life will resume.
And then, an angel appears in a dream and tells you to marry this woman anyways. And to raise her son as your own. Because get this, Mary didn’t get pregnant sleeping around, but she got pregnant by the Holy Spirit. And this son of yours is actually the Son of God. And he’s going to save the world from their sins.
So, instead of quietly divorcing Mary, you choose a different way. You choose to go ahead with your marriage. Your normal, uncomplicated life is now actually a mess.
But that mess, that is the very place where God is going to be born.