So, here we have Joseph.
He's a normal, all-around nice guy with a small construction shop in an obscure town. Nazareth, to be exact.
He's not exactly looking for trouble. He's got a sweet fiance who will make a good wife. Everyone likes her, and she gets along with other people. Life should be peaceful.
Except that Mary sends him a message that's really bad news. "I'm pregnant." His night visitor tells him not to be afraid - his wife-to-be is expecting God. God-with-us, Immanuel.
What? No one asked Joseph for permission to turn his world upside down. His dream of a quiet life shatters. To top it off, the census is due, and the highly-pregnant Mary and Joseph have to trek to Bethlehem with fellow villagers. It's not an easy trip, at least a few days walk.
Joseph doesn't know that he won't return to Nazareth for a few years. The rage of Herod against Joseph's son will cause the massacre of infants and toddlers around Bethlehem, hardly something to endear Joseph, Mary, and Jesus to the place. They will have fled from their country to live among stranger where the language, food, and surroundings are unfamiliar.
Egypt. The place his people left years ago. Going backward, not forward, it may have seemed to Joseph.
We don't always choose the path by which God works in the world. Sometimes we seems to be regressing to where we thought we'd never go.
Somehow, Joseph put one foot in front of the other in his inconvenient life. He seems to have died before Jesus reached adulthood, but from the tender care Jesus later exhibited to others--including his mom--there must have been a lot of love at home.
What diversions are driving you crazy? What detours seem hard to bear? Let's wait, watch, and work like Joseph to bring the Savior's love to those around us.
*And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:1-7 KJV
Thank you Moravians:
Psalm 143:1-6 Micah 3:8-5:15; Revelation 12:18-13:10
All the people responded with a great shout when they praised the Lord,
because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid. Ezra 3:11
No one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid;
that foundation is Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 3:11
Prayer: O Rock of Ages, we cling to you. When we fall on slippery slopes we
create for ourselves, your foundation is always there to provide for us
a safe place to land. All glory in Jesus Christ. Amen.