It’s Saturday and there are only 13 days that separate you from Christmas. What are the plans for today? Shopping? Cleaning? Baking? Sitting? Whatever your plans, or combination of plans might be, the reality is that most of us don’t expect our world to get turned upside down.
If, however, we do find our world turned upside down we may make the mistake of seeking validation by condemning others, complaining about our circumstances, or simply refusing to along with whatever may be happening around us.
Meet Joseph. Engaged to be married only to find out that the woman you are engaged is expecting a child. Spoiler: it’s not yours. As a conscientious person he makes plans to deal with this setback as quietly as possible. No calling up the friends and having a pity party. No posting on social media; Some people SMH. I. Can’t. Even.
In fact, we are told in Matthew that Joseph was only considering severing his relationship with Mary. He hadn’t decided yet. There is a pause. He hears the news and takes at minimum a day or two to consider what he has heard. Maybe Mary has told him about the angel or maybe Joseph is simply wanting to make sure he does the right thing so he sits quietly and waits.
Then God sends an angel. Joseph responds to this midnight visitation by taking Mary into his home. The scorn that would have been hers now becomes his. The rejection she would have experienced is now turned on Joseph in mockery. Joseph looks weak by every measurement of our cultures.
In God’s eyes he is the fulfillment of a human; made to glorify God. In his love for Mary, and ultimately Jesus, he signifies to each of us how we should care for the mocked and outcast around us. The reality of our lives is that we are constantly being interrupted by people whose problems seem their own – and overwhelming. God has called us to join them.
Wait on your vision if you must, but take a cue from Joseph and wait quietly. The expectation grows as miracles continue to occur in the lives of those who surround the birth of Jesus.