Daily Scripture Reading: Matthew 2:19-23
Joseph is incredibly impressive to me this year. There are many impressive people in the Christmas Story. Jesus is obviously impressive as the star of the story. Mary, the mother of Jesus, is impressive with her quick faith and she is written about later on in Jesus’ life. But before long we aren’t going to hear much else about Joseph. So how Joseph listens to God and shows up is impressive to me.
For the second time in two chapters, a messenger of God appears to Joseph in two more dreams. In the first, the angel says, “Get up and walk back to Israel.” Joseph and family are obedient. I like here that Joseph also has initiative. Joseph isn’t just blindly following. Joseph learns that his former home isn’t super safe. In dream number two, God agrees, and the Holy Family travels to Nazareth. This isn’t the first time Joseph has done something big for his family. In the middle of this travel to a third city in just as many years, he has another change of plan. It’s even worse than pouring a bowl of cereal only to look in the fridge and find no milk.
This passage speaks to me because I often worry about complacency, especially in my own life. As a pastor, sometimes I hear people say, “I put in my time doing _________ for the church. It’s time for someone else to step up and fill that role.” While they might be right…Joseph didn’t do that. And it helps remind me that you can’t retire from being a Christian. What God is calling you to do may change. But no matter what, God is still calling you to do something. We are not just pew-warmers.
What might this mean during Christmas? Christmas is a call to action during this Advent season. This is like the start of your new year in the Christian life. Maybe it could mean taking on a new role within the church during Advent. Maybe your prayer life is feeling complacent lately. Perhaps you could find a different prayer to pray, way to pray, or place to pray. Maybe God is calling you to be extravagantly generous. Whatever it is, take the next small step to serve God today.
What has you worried?
What has God been trying to get you to do that you have been reluctant to accept?
Does it change anything for you to hear that you don’t get to retire from being a Christian or called by Christ? How?
Heavenly Father, even as I am impressed by Joseph’s fatherhood, let me know and anticipate how much more you care for me. Bless me this day with understanding that I am a child of God forever. Please continue to call me to be your hands and feet in your world and keep me from being complacent in my Christianity. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
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