As we enter into the celebration of Christ’s birth, I wonder about Joseph.
From scripture, we understand Joseph to be the young many who desired to take Mary as his wife.
Joseph then discovers that his betrothed is expecting a child, in history, a situation of unwed pregnancy calls for life ending repercussions. For Joseph, it creates a public judgment and scrutiny as well.
We also understand that an angel appeared to Joseph to assure him that he is to marry Mary as God’s plan. I can only imagine the scrutiny and scorn that Joseph endured. He had chosen to take a young pregnant woman as his wife, caring for a child that he knew was not his child.
It seems as if we may have a tendency to overlook and not recognize the role of Joseph.
However, Joseph was essential to Mary and to Jesus, the Son of God. Joseph models for us the utmost in faith, trust and sacrifice, by his strength and commitment to God. Joseph exemplified what is means to love without reservation. Joseph we see as totally committed to Mary and to Jesus.
The extraordinary life of Joseph inspires me to trust in those situations when nothing seems to make any logical sense. Situations that may include judgment and ridicule when we are called to follow God. I can only begin to imagine the weight Joseph carried in raising Jesus. We hear little of Joseph in scripture, and I wonder how he suffered by the life he chose with Mary and Jesus. I also wonder how he stayed faithful in this weight he carried.
There are many people in my life and community that in similar ways have taken on life situations in response to their call, their faith, their commitment. There are many people doing extraordinary things in seemingly ordinary ways to live the Gospel values.
It calls me to humility and courage to be of support and care. To love without reservation or judgment.
And I wonder, how is God calling me in this story of life to live life as the story of our faith calls us?
As Christmas comes this year, I ponder how I may be personally called to live like Joseph. How am I called to support those who may be condemned by others by their life choices…by their situations? How will I, in these days of our Christmas season, seek to be open to the extraordinary ways God is calling me in my ordinary life?
I wish you all the blessing of Christmas as well all the wondering and struggles of seeking to understand how you, like myself, are being called.