One of the most underrated characters in the Christmas story, in my opinion, is Joseph. The poor guy doesn’t even have a speaking part in any of the renditions of the story.
However, what Joseph lacks in speaking, he makes up for in significance.
The thing that strikes me about Joseph in the Christmas story is how he willingly embraces mystery for the sake of what God was trying to accomplish. Mary knew and could feel baby Jesus growing inside her, and she also knew that she conceived Jesus as a virgin. Joseph had to embrace the mystery of what God was doing and trust that these very strange and difficult things were true and even guided along by God.
If you remember from an earlier reading, Joseph also had to embrace mystery when God appeared to him in dreams after Jesus was born. God was directing Joseph about how to keep his family safe amidst Herod’s death threats. Once again, Joseph trusted God and embraced the mystery of the journey in order to keep his family safe.
Mystery is a difficult thing because we are addicted to answers. We want to know, and we want to know now. I blame Google for the difficult time we have with embracing mystery. We live in a time where if we don’t know an answer, we can just “Google it” and all mystery is gone.
The problem is that God still leads His people through mystery and in a mysterious way. It wasn’t easy for Joseph to trust God in the mystery, but hope empowered him to do what God asked of him. Hope anchors and guides us through time spent in mystery. Joseph had hope in the fact that God was good and had his best intentions in mind. He had hope that God would deliver him and his family through any difficult situation.
In our world today, we have hope that Jesus is our anchor and guides through any mystery that we may face. What hope do you have from Jesus? What are ways you can more fully embrace that hope amidst mystery?