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Chaplaincy

Thursday, Third Week of Advent

"Joseph did what the Lord's angel had told him to do."
-- Matt. 1:24 NCV

 

Joseph's Prayer

The white space between Bible verses is fertile soil for questions. One can hardly read Scripture without whispering, "I wonder?."?..The innkeeper too busy to welcome God?did he ever learn who he turned away? The shepherds?did they ever hum the song the angels sang? The wise men who followed the star?what was it like to worship a toddler? And Joseph, especially Joseph. I?ve got questions for Joseph. Did you and Jesus arm wrestle? Did he ever let you win? Did you ever look up from your prayers and see Jesus listening?.....

?.What was he thinking while Jesus was being born? What was on his mind while Mary was giving birth?....For some reason, I don't see him silent; I see Joseph animated, pacing. Head shaking one minute, fist shaking the next. This isn't what he had in mind. I wonder what he said?

This isn't the way I planned it, God. Not at all. My child being born in a stable? This isn't the way I thought it would be..No, I imagined family. I imagined grandmothers. I imagined neighbors clustered outside the door and friends standing at my side. I imagined the house erupting with the first cry of the infant. Slaps on the back. Loud laughter. Jubilation. That's how I thought it would be?..

If you are asking what Joseph asked, let me urge you to do what Joseph did. Obey. That's what he did. He obeyed. He obeyed when the angel called. He obeyed when Mary explained. He obeyed when God sent.

Excerpts from Max Lucado, "Joseph?s Prayer," in The Heart of Christmas

Offered by Sharon Werning Rivera,
Assistant Professor of Government