Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Faith, Hope and Trust

Although I love seeing family and friends during the holiday season, sometimes it can get hectic to the point of being exhausting. Although I always start out the season with the intent to keep my eyes and heart focused on Advent and the coming of the King, most years I fail to follow through. Also, I am not one to make New Year's resolutions...like most everyone else, I find I have broken them before I've allowed them to become habit.

Now this is not meant to be a pity party. I thoroughly enjoyed being with those that we don't see often. I loved having children/grandchildren and others under our roof. We spent much time in fellowship and rest...we recharged ourselves together. Although, as I said, I didn't put the focus on Advent that I should have, I did spend time reading and meditating about Joseph. He gets very little credit within the Nativity story but played a large part. I wrote the following piece for our Church Newsletter:
During Advent we are called to spend time joyfully waiting for the birth of the Christ child. But hope is the key...it's why we are joyful in the first place! Joseph's life is a shining example of choosing to hope and to trust.

He's betrothed to a young woman named Mary. Only to find out she is pregnant. When he asks her why and how, Mary tells him the truth...God is the proverbial “other man” and she is carrying a divine child. Also, she's still a virgin! Now how do you think Joseph reacted? I can only assume he was perplexed to say the least. But, despite her strange excuses, he is generous in his decision to divorce
her quietly. This would spare her the wrath of a harsh penal system that frowned upon adulterers (as in stoning offense). But wait! Because of an angel in a dream, Joseph decides to stick by Mary. Jesus is born and raised by His parents to become the Savior of the world.

Think of it...what reason did he really have to believe he wasn't being “played”? Would you believe? Not only that, what kind of courage does it take to believe that you can be a father to God's only Son?

It is because he chose to hope. He chose to hope that Mary was telling the truth. He chose to hope he wasn't crazy when the angel appeared. He chose to hope that he would have whatever it took to be the father of Jesus. It was not logical...it was not rational...he just did it. Because he also chose to trust. I'm sure he was told that everything would be alright but there had to be doubt...somewhere, deep down. I'm sure he questioned the wisdom of the path he chose. Whether it was his love for Mary or his faith in God (or a combination), Joseph and Mary lived the first-ever Advent. He chose to be a husband, a father and a man of faith.

If you need an example of living the Advent season...look to Joseph.
So, even though the holidays are over and it's time to get back to the normal routine, it's never to late to spend time learning about the parents God chose for His Son.

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