Sunday, December 19, 2010
Joseph:Silent But Strong
As we begin this fourth and final week of Advent, the Gospel draws our attention to Joseph. Scripture does not record one syllable ever being uttered by Joseph, yet his strength, courage and faithful obedience are evident through his actions. He believed the angel who spoke to him in a dream of Jesus' conception and coming birth, he protected Mary and the unborn Jesus on their journeys to Bethlehem, Egypt, then back to their home in Nazareth.
I often wonder if Joseph ever had the thought in those early days that this was not the way he saw his life going. He may have; he may have even told God and his new bride as much.
How many times I too have that thought and tell God as much~ "Lord this is not what I had planned; I didn't see things going this way." Any number of circumstances, good or bad, may cause us to utter those words to God.
If Joseph did I am sure God understood, and I think He understands when we say them. The important thing to God and for us is in how we deal with those unforeseen circumstances. Do we continue to whine and complain, stamp our feet and refuse what God has allowed or ordained for us? (Yes, I have done this more times than I care to count.) Or do we respond as Joseph did: "Lord I do not understand all of this, but will do as You ask because You have asked and it is Your holy plan." Now I don't know that those were Joseph's exact words, but his actions certainly demonstrated that sentiment.
God has a plan for each of us; we may not always understand what He is doing or why He is doing it, we just have to trust and obey. Let us look to Joseph and follow his example of silent but strong faith.
Psalm 45: Canticle of Love to the King
My heart overflows with a good theme;
I address my verses to the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
You are fairer than the sons of men;
Grace is poured upon Your lips;
Therefore God has blessed You forever.
Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O Mighty One,
In Your splendor and Your majesty!
And in Your majesty ride on victoriously,
For the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
Let Your right hand teach You awesome things.
Your arrows are sharp;
The peoples fall under You;
Your arrows are in the heart of the King’s enemies.
Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of joy above Your fellows.
All Your garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made You glad.
Kings’ daughters are among Your noble ladies;
At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.