“Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
Three weeks ago, we reflected on God’s wake-up calls delivered through the prophets so we might be found awake and ready.
Two weeks ago, we focused on God’s proclamation of His truth as revelation for us. We understand that to be part of God is to be part of His extraordinarily different way, and to live up to it.
Last week we considered the rejoicing ready for us right now and to come upon Jesus’ return.
In a few days, this will all come together in our Christmas celebration. To prepare, God asks us to consider the depth of His love and how we live it.
We know the Spirit stirred life in the womb of a peasant girl – God’s proclamation through prophets and angels comes to reality in Mary’s womb by her loving acceptance. God is engaged in His extraordinarily different way.
Mary and Joseph betrothed, not yet married, were expected to remain chaste. Mary’s pregnancy catches Joseph by surprise, more literally he was shocked and dismayed. Joseph seeks to avoid humiliation (for him) while also fulfilling the law. He is not yet connected to God’s different way of love or His proclamation. The angel sets that straight. The angel admonishes Joseph to embrace his role and Joseph responded lovingly. Joseph then becomes model for all who encounter the message of Jesus – God’s proclamation made real in vastly different ways and to be accepted in love.
God’s realm is becoming manifest among us at the near conclusion of this Advent season. If we have taken wake-up calls and proclamation seriously, we are awake, ready, listening, prepared, and knowledgeable. God calls us to act so vastly different in advance of His son’s glorious return. We are called to be part of His necessary work at this end-time, i.e., to becoming deeply faithful to love. Love must overcome disbelief. Love must overcome labeling (imagine what people called Mary and Joseph). Love must overcome conflict and chaos, eliciting peaceful hearts. Love must overcome complacency. Jesus’ way of love must rule our heart and way to the core of our being.