Advent Meditation – Matthew 1: 18-25

December 9th, 2009

By Brad and Lindsey Kolb, EMU staff and alumni

Read Matthew 1:18-25

Look, it’s complicated…

The holiday season can be complicated. After thinking about travel plans, decorations, shopping, being “green”, consumerism, cooking, and Christmas cookies, we sometimes put our faces in our hands and wish it all away for a brief moment.

We can’t help but wonder if Joseph did something similar just after finding out his fiancée was pregnant. Joseph’s journey in this passage makes our holiday woes seem quite manageable. The Bible does not reveal how Joseph reacts to the news of Mary’s pregnancy, nor does it describe the dialogue leading to his decision to “divorce quietly.”  And yet, we can imagine that this was a very emotionally difficult process for Joseph. We’re sure he had many pressing questions for both Mary and God.

How could this have HAPPENED?

How could Mary do this to me?

What happens if I marry her now?

What if I leave her?

What will people think?

God made everything clear to Joseph in a dream. And when he awoke, he did exactly what he was told. Perhaps this dream filled Joseph with the complete peace of God and he was able to obey with confidence, knowing God was at work. Or maybe he awoke feeling scared, unworthy and filled with more questions.

Was the dream real?

Why me? Why Mary?

How can this child save people from sins?

How do we raise such a child?

Joseph’s situation was difficult, and yet he managed to follow God with obedience and continually show goodness to Mary. Likewise, we hope that our holidays can reflect obedience to God’s plan while continually showing love and grace to people around us.