Just Call Me Joe

Thursday, December 06, 2012 Posted by Debbie Legg

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We meet Joseph at what must have been the lowest point in his life—the woman he loves, his wife-to-be, is pregnant and the child is not his.  The betrayal he must have felt.  The plans he had for his life ripped out of his chest and stomped to oblivion.  Haven’t we all been betrayed, brought to our knees by circumstances beyond our control?

Not wanting to expose Mary to public disgrace, he decided to divorce her quietly.  When deeply hurt, do we think of the other person and try to protect their reputation? 

An angel assures Joseph that the child is God’s and he is to go ahead with his plans for marriage.  Realizing that Mary was telling the truth, how awful that he had, in fact, betrayed her by not believing her.  Haven’t we all at some point had to backpedal and apologize for our assumptions and unbelief?

Shepherds, loud with excitement (and more than a little smelly), burst in on the new family with wild tales of angels.  How do we react when the unexpected inconveniently barges into our lives?

More strangers come, Magi from the east with expensive gifts.  Do we graciously accept God’s providence, or do we believe we deserve His gifts?
After the Magi leave, Joseph is warned in a dream to take his family and flee to Egypt.  He obeys immediately.  Do we quickly heed God’s warnings or do we procrastinate?

After Herod dies, the angel instructs Joseph to return to Israel.  He tries to go to Bethlehem but the angel sends them home, to Nazareth, where everyone remembers the “shame” of their “situation.” Have you ever desired to escape your past but instead were forced to go back and deal with it?

We face many of the same issues and quandaries Joseph did.  God had plans for Joseph, far beyond the humble carpenter’s wildest dreams.  

He does for us, too.

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