Happy December, friends! Welcome to a month of fun, festivities, family, and stories. Advent begins in a few days so I'm already thinking about the first Christmas story.
Honestly, I hadn’t given much thought to Joseph in the Christmas narrative until I started listening to Father while writing some emails for a small group coaching adventure a few weeks ago. Joseph is a figurine I unpack every year when I set up our nativity set, but I’ll greet him with more respect this year, I think.
Let’s take a closer look -
This is how Jesus, God’s Anointed One, was born.
His mother, Mary, had promised Joseph to be his wife, but while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. Her fiance, Joseph, was a righteous man full of integrity and he didn’t want to disgrace her, but when he learned of her pregnancy he secretly planned to break the engagement. While he was still debating with himself about what to do, he fell asleep and had a supernatural dream. (Matt. 1: 18-20a, TPT)
The Holy Spirit showed me something new about Joseph’s response to hazardous circumstances. Joseph’s feelings set off an alarm in his human thought process and initially directed him to break up with his fiance to save his reputation in the community.
But “while he was still debating with himself” is the plot twist of a righteous father. Instead of self-protecting, he paused. He was tempted to lean on his own understanding. But after he had a supernatural dream, “...he did all that the angel of the Lord instructed him to do. He took Mary to be his wife…” (Matt. 1: 24b, TPT)
Joseph didn’t go into survival mode. He didn’t make an emotional decision. When the Lord gave him the truth to revise the story he was telling himself, Joseph repented. He changed his mind and stepped into a story of divine destiny, risking his reputation while trusting God.
Joseph gave his adopted human Son a gift more valuable than gold or frankincense or myrh. He refused to allow himself the right to respond to the voice of fear. Instead, he demonstrated an abiding relationship with His Heavenly Father.
Joseph stood up to protect the defenseless and give honor to the powerless. What a gift to his bride! And to his unborn child.
Jesus arrived as a tiny baby in a world full of chaos. The shepherds heard the angels sing while scanning the hillside for danger, not looking for love. Faith moved their feet to follow a star. They found the swaddled Messiah in a manger, just as vulnerable as their sheep.
Jesus was born in a medley of madness to show us how to live loved - not afraid.
Just like Mary. Just like Joseph. His human family endured threats and turmoil. They were alive with real emotions. But they refused to just survive. Together, they listened to the voice of Love.
God created us to live securely in insecure times - just like Jesus. We are connected. We are seen. God still speaks. We are safe in His hands.
Do you want to experience security in insecure times?
Love stories are secure stories because fear stories are insecure stories, and only Love can cast out our fears.
If you're a parent or are helping bring up children in these insecure times, listen to episode #125, How To Help Your Child Live a Secure Story. We share 3 practical ideas that help children build a secure nervous system even while experiencing insecure circumstances.
Together, there is great hope.