December 21, 2018
What is Joseph to the Christmas story anyway? In my mind I say that with a little bit of sarcasm and edge to my voice. After all, he didn’t have to bear the baby. He had choices. He could go on his merry way if he decided to leave Mary behind, with this surprise child.
Then my mind wanders to “if we look around the stores and neighborhoods, what is Christmas about anyway?” Inflatable Santas, Christmas discounts long before Christmas, lots of food, Jingle Bells and all that jazz? Nothing wrong with any of that. Is that Christmas?
Back to Joseph for a moment. In Matthew 1 we discover that Joseph planned to walk away quietly from his fiancée, Mary, when he found out about the baby. But then God came to him and gave him a better choice and Joseph chose the faithful way, the way of caring for the one to whom he was promised, and the child.
At its heart, I think Christmas is about God’s faithfulness, about God doing what God said he would do—sending one who would show us God’s way and saving us through Jesus from ruining ourselves and others. Joseph must have known something of God’s faithfulness from his upbringing and chose to listen to God and follow the faithful way, too. We see God’s faithfulness in Joseph’s actions.
God was and is faithful to us, coming once again to us this Christmas—offering us Christ —in Scripture and songs, and in worship and prayer. Christ comes to us as we give to and love one another, as God has done for us. We are offered the joy and peace of Christ once again. God is faithful.
So I guess Joseph does matter to the story, for his “yes” to God turns out to be a blanket of protective faithfulness. This Sunday, Dec. 23, we take a look at Joseph and his decision at our usual worship times of 8:15, 9:45 and 11:15 a.m.
A word of prayer: O God, in these closing days of Advent, we trust that you are coming to bring us your peace and joy in Jesus. Grant this to us, as we seek to be faithful to you and your call to bring hope and peace to our world. Amen.
Christmas blessings, Sharon