Skip to main content

A Place For Mystery

It's Tuesday, Day 17 in the Third Week of Advent.  The story of the first Advent is full of "impossible "things...if you believe in the impossible.   Zechariah and Elizabeth "can't" bear children.  Mary is a Virgin.  Angelic visits tell them both that the impossible is about to happen.

The person who cannot believe the impossible sits in a quiet place wondering what to do.  Joseph is pledged to be married to Mary...but Mary is pregnant, and they are not yet married.

Matthew 1:18-19
18  This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.
19  Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

Who is Joseph... He is first of all "a righteous man".  In our present day culture that is usually said of those who think they are better than others.  It's not a phrase for a Godly person, it's a negative comment of those who are pride filled and aloof.  This is not Joseph...he is not "self-righteous", but a man who cares deeply about God, His word, and His ways.  He wants to be obedient to God.

So, Joseph makes a humble, and yet obedient decision (as far as he knows)...he decides to divorce Mary.  That's confusing for us in our present day...they are not yet married and he is going to "divorce" her?  Yes.  A man and a woman "pledged" to be married in that time were legally, religiously considered married...all that remained to do was a formal ceremony and the consummation of their marriage...and that now could not happen.  Joseph does not want to hurt Mary, but he also was not going to do what he considered to be dis-obedient.
Joseph is a "righteous" man...and look at what he does.  He decides to obey God, and exercise mercy.  Those are great character qualities we would be well to emulate.

Then a place for mystery appears.

Matthew 1:20-21
20  But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
21  She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." 

He "considers this"... not after the Angel came, but before the Angel's visit.  It is intriguing, and makes me wonder.  Do we prepare ourselves for God to talk to us by "considering" our events in light of God?  He is wondering what is going doesn't add up.  Mary is not that kind of person, and she says the impossible has Angel telling her she is going to get pregnant by the Holy Spirit of God? can it be?  He is pondering, considering, thinking, meditating, musing...

What is happening to Joseph is a place of mystery is entering into his heart, mind and soul.  While all things don't make sense, still... AND THEN, it happens.  He sees the Angel in a dream...and the mystery becomes reality.  What was impossible, crazy and beyond reason all of a sudden becomes possible, reasonable and understandable.
His fears are turned into faith, and his mind is filled with's all good...because it's all God.

What I am thinking is simple:  Do we have a place for mystery?  Do we have a place where the impossible can become possible?
C.S. Lewis once said, "Perfect humility dispenses with modesty".

Joseph is my Advent hero...quiet, unassuming, humble, willing to embrace what others will not understand.  Advent means we wait, prayerfully, quietly, willingly asking to have the reality of "God With Us" - Immanuel - to be real in us.



Popular posts from this blog

Welcome to Advent 2011 - Day 1

Advent is a wonderful opportunity to take time to "ponder" Jesus and the Incarnation.  It is not for "fast food" devotions; but rather, a time for "thinking" about all that God has done in sending his Son - Jesus, our Savior, to the world that ultimately would reject him!

Each day we'll read some scripture...then I'll share some thoughts on the passage and invite you to "comment", so that we can all gain from a wider community of God's people.  Please feel free to "comment" at the end of each post.

Finally there is an encouragement to pray, asking God to make the Word spoken more real in our hearts than we can ever gain from our intellect alone.

TODAY:  We read Isaiah 43:14, 18-21

Thus says the LORD, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: … Remember not the events of the past, the things of long ago consider not; See, I am doing something new! Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? … For I put water in the desert and r…

The Messy Church

The First letter to the Corinthians is what I started reading a couple of days ago.  I'm just about done with it, and it is a picture of the "Messy" Church.
The Corinthian believers, like all believers in that first century, were newly established in their faith.  They probably were a mixture of both Jewish converts and Gentile believers.  Corinth is a port city in lower Greece, and had a reputation for being a city of perversion...sort of "whatever you want, you can get it in Corinth". In fact, to "Corinthianize" was to commit sexual immorality.  It is in this cultural setting that the church in Corinth comes into being.
The church struggled...division, sexual immorality, along with incest, eating foods that were dedicated to idols/gods, marriage's in struggles, freedom vs license as well as freedom vs. law, men and women in pure relationships, abuses in worship, trouble with use of gifts of the Spirit, and doubts about the resurrection...what a…

Advent Day 1, Waiting in Joyful Hope

Psalm 25:1-7
1 To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul.
2  O my God, in you I trust; let me not be put to shame;let not my enemies exult over me.
3  Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame; they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.
4  Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths.
5  Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation;for you I wait all the day long.
6  Remember your mercy, O LORD, and your steadfast love, for they have been from of old.
7  Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me,for the sake of your goodness, O LORD!

Psalm 25:16-21
16  Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.

Psalm 130:5
5  I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope;

The first of day of Advent has arrived.  The short season this year still involves waiting. I knew that from my childhood.  Advent came and we waited.  Anticipation was interrupted with pr…