FOR TUESDAY, DECEMBER 20
"What have you discovered while you are waiting?" by the Rev. John Talbert, St. John's, Mobile
When you lean into Matthew’s infancy narrative, it’s hard not to try and get into Joseph’s head. Matthew is very specific about how all this went down. Because for the Jewish engagement, there is a specific way that all the things must unfold; and what was taking place for Joseph was not in the plans. For some readers there is an uncomfortable amount of language in this text to clarify Joseph and Mary’s romantic pursuits before the proceedings of their wedding day… but I have to side with Matthew to its necessity because it really fleshes out the scenario in Joseph’s mind when he “found” Mary to be with child. It was his “discovery” moment.
There’s a difference between our just “knowing” something and our “discovering” of it. We can be told of a truth, perhaps something already seen or known by others, after which we simply become another one of those in the “know."
But it’s different when you encounter something completely on your own. When all of a sudden you realize the presence of something beyond your awareness, that which existed before you, and now that you’ve found it, could never be denied…It’s a “discovery” moment.
Joseph discovered a child.
And he wasn’t expecting it.
And the situation just got real.
I believe there are moments in your life every day, even right now, for you to discover the undeniable presence of God in the world around you in a completely unexpected way. The surprising intimacy of a conversation with a stranger. Calm resolution over a stressful decision. A sense of tranquility amid an embrace. The guiding remembrance of a loved one’s voice. An urge to serve others, despite our own needs. Our compassionate and loving God is reaching in to change your life… in an undeniable way that you’d never expect.
Discover the presence of Jesus in your life. Listen to the dream that tells you to be not afraid – and find that there is a child of God for you to love within the person right in front of you. His name is Jesus.
Reading for this week: Matthew 1: 18-25
Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
“Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall name him Emmanuel,”
which means, “God is with us.” When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus.
Collect for this week:
Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Join us this Advent as we explore what it’s like to wait! We are offering a collection of daily questions and reflections inviting us to consider what we experience and learn in our waiting, and how we find God - and God finds us - in our waiting.
Each Sunday a brief video will be shared on Facebook and Instagram to introduce us to a focus and reflection for the week. Each day a question will be posted for us to ponder. You are invited to share your own reflections by replying to these posts or reposting on your personal social media. Please follow and use #diocgcwaits. Be sure to follow our diocesan social media accounts on Facebook and Instagram; search: DioCGC.