Scripture: Matthew 1:24-25
Reflection: Absentee father or a man who was secure enough to let Mary take the spotlight? Joseph’s role in Jesus’ life beyond securing a birth room is unknown. That leaves considerable space for our imaginations to run wild. But there are two notions in the text that inform our Advent journey.
First, we see that Joseph accepted the responsibility given to him by God. We don’t know how Joseph felt about this or if he was in any way prepared to accept this calling. But he did. As Christians, especially if we sit in any positions of power, we need to accept the responsibilities given to us by God. Joseph models to put aside any shame, hurt feelings, or cultural norms when it comes to loving our neighbors and following Jesus.
Verse 25 provides an indelicate piece of information in a delicate way, demonstrating how Joseph honored his wife’s calling. He respected the divinity of her highly unusual state and recognized it as a blessing from God. Joseph did not allow the patriarchal culture to interfere with God’s work.
In Advent, we prepare for the birth of a Savior but should also prepare for a calling. During Advent, we can examine the cultural norms that get in the way of fulfilling our callings and the callings of others, especially those marginalized and silenced. We can be called to do uncomfortable things, especially when asked to step out of a position of power and leadership and give it to someone else.
Prayer: God of all people, help us to empower those who are called to speak in prophetic ways. Give us the wisdom to know when to lead and when to follow. As we hopefully and joyfully await new birth put expectancy within each of us. Amen.
Author: Erika Funk, Director for CROSS
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[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].