Monday, December 20, 2010

Seeing Angels changing plans. Luke 2:1-20 Matthew 1:18-25, Matthew 2:13-23

Christmas Eve 2010 and the First Sunday of Christmas

Real angels aren't soft and cushy.
Real angels are messengers and warriors. They comes in God's service. They come not on a whim or a fancy but right into the middle of everything.

I get a chill from reading the stories of Angels making announcements as part of the Christmas: in Luke, to Zechariah, to Mary, to the Shepherds in the fields. In Matthew, to Joseph before Jesus birth and after.

When Joseph learned that Mary was pregnant there must have been a million things on his mind. I think suspicions and doubts. Mary was pregnant and she said she'd heard it from an angel. I suspect sin. A well reasoned blogger points to the fathers and sees two distinct lines of conjecture.

1) Joseph wanted to step aside because he knew the child was Holy and he wasn't
or
2) Joseph suspected Mary of sin and wanted to step away.

I tend to agree with the 2nd perspective. I imagine that in Joseph's eyes Mary had a great big stack of troubles coming that were all hers and the father of her unborn child's to face. Sure he'd promised to walk with her in their upcoming marriage; but now believing she had broken her promise to be faithful to him Joseph was ready to walk away.

There's a key detail about Joseph. He was an upright man. I think he chose not to add to Mary's troubles; but he wasn't going to invest anything more of himself either. He would simply back out.

And then the angel came saying first "Fear not," and next "take Mary as your bride." Joseph wasn't just a bit player; he was a complicated man with emotions all his own and after the angel came to him a reason all his own to stay with Mary.

There are so many moments in the Christmas story when God's power is visible. Now looking back 2000 years later we see all these moments when God stepped. To Joseph God sent an angel 2 times first warning him not to fear but to stay and take Mary as his wife and the second time to take Mary and the infant Jesus and flee into Egypt away from Herod's wrath. As we reflect on all the miracles that added up to the birth of the savior and this is just one more of them that flows together uniting two people who hours early had nothing left to hold them together. There might be question in our minds about what Joseph thought of Mary's pregnancy, but there can be no question that what the angel told Joseph changed everything.

There's no way around the ambiguity of the human heart and human faith; but there is clarity in the Good News. Listen to the angels, "Fear not" trust that God goes with you. AMEN
Pax, John

PS.
I am asking prayers for my marriage these days. May God guide both Siri and I in right pathways for His name's sake. AMEN.

3 comments:

Ivy said...

May God guide and direct you.

Unlikely said...

thanks for the prayers. We are both being upheld by many in payer & it's helping. Peace and thanks to you.
john

Tmiester said...

I second IVY's comment. Also If you need an Ear to bend, i'm there!