I generally like it when pastors put a spin on Christmas, and this year I found to love the theme. Joseph–the guy who was told that his “virgin” wife was pregnant, and kept getting bossed around by angels to go places. A guy who really had to trust in God and in God’s plans.
I love that God always finds a way to shake me and speak to me, and this Christmas was no different. I was really struggling with a particular decision, and God made it clear to me what I have to do. I listened to two sermons on Joseph the two last Sundays (different churches), that got me thinking about Joseph. Here was this guy who was engaged to a woman who became pregnant, not by his doing. You can see that he already had a worthy character, as he planned on divorcing Mary privately as to not disgrace her and get her stoned. So right off the bat, we have a guy who is noble and Godly. Then, an angel appears to him and tells him to get married anyway! So does he argue it? No! He woke up and did what the angel said to do. Then, after the baby is born, an angel appears again to Joe and says, “Herod’s trying to kill all the babies! Leave and go to Egypt!” So what does Joe do? He got up! Then later on, an Angel appears AGAIN and tells him to return to Israel. And Joseph goes. He doesn’t argue, he doesn’t fuss at the angel or try to negotiate with it, he just goes.
Joseph is a man who does what God tells him to do without arguing. He just “gets up” and does it! I started reading “Radical” by David Platt, and I feel extremely convicted that when Christ called his disciples, he called them to do radical things, like leave whatever they were doing and follow Him (there will be a much more extended post as soon as I finish this book, trust me). I don’t think we do that. We rationalize, try to bargain with God to let us finish what we are doing, and THEN follow him (and not even the right way!). But even when Christ was born, his earthly father had to leave everything he was doing in order to follow God and let the Messiah be born. Crazy Amazing. I think that the story of Joesph also shows us that God knew what he was doing when giving Jesus Christ an amazing earthly father! I think there is a lot that we can take from Joseph and apply to our lives–trusting in God’s plan and following him at whatever cost it takes.
It’s funny because after I heard the first sermon on Joesph, I kind of brushed it off. Then I started reading “Radical” and was convicted of a certain thing that I have to drop in order to follow Christ. I didn’t drop it. Then I heard the second sermon on Joseph at a completely different church! I am now convinced! At least I just heard a sermon and wasn’t swallowed by a whale in order to get a hold of :)
Also, another random side note…I heard this week something amazing: Jesus died on the cross at 33-that is 33 years that he had to wait to die, knowing that he would have to do it. 33 years! It makes things that I am waiting for seem much less dramatic.