Fourth Sunday in Advent: Love

Tonight at church we heard St. Matthew's account of the annunciation of Jesus' birth to Joseph. Our friend Laura preached tonight at church, and she had us put ourselves in Joseph's shoes. He finds out the woman he's engaged to is pregnant. She claims the Holy Spirit did it. Being a just man, he could have her stoned by law, but being a righteous, loving man he intends to divorce her quietly. He doesn't want to be disgraced, but he also loves Mary and doesn't want her stoned to death. He has one way out--unless he's to believe that she's truly had an immaculate conception as a virgin. How is Joseph supposed to believe that?

Enter the angel of the Lord. God knows Joseph is going to need a little more convincing on this one. He also wants to give Joseph the opportunity to say "yes" (just as He did with Mary). Joseph knows what is at hand; God knows the bigger picture. This isn't about God coming into Joseph's story. This is about God inviting Joseph to be a part of His story.

We have the invitation as well. An invitation to say yes. An invitation to be a part of God's story. And God's story is about love. Love for us, love for all. Are you waiting for God to come into your story? Or are you willing to accept the bigger picture--even if you can't see it--and be a part of God's story? Advent is an opportunity for us to take the time to see the bigger picture. It's not just about the birth of Jesus--it's about God's love for us, about the salvation Jesus' death offers, about the coming Kingdom. You are invited to be a part of the story.

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