This was how the birth of Jesus Christ took place. His mother Mary was engaged to Joseph, but before they were married, she found out that she was going to have a baby by the Holy Spirit. Joseph was a man who always did what was right, but he did not want to disgrace Mary publicly; so he made plans to break the engagement privately. While he was thinking about this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, descendant of David, do not be afraid to take Mary to be your wife. For it is by the Holy Spirit that she has conceived. She will have a son, and you will name him Jesus—because he will save his people from their sins.”
Now all this happened in order to make come true what the Lord had said through the prophet, “A virgin will become pregnant and have a son, and he will be called Immanuel” (which means, “God is with us”).
So when Joseph woke up, he married Mary, as the angel of the Lord had told him to. But he had no sexual relations with her before she gave birth to her son. And Joseph named him Jesus.
Even when we are jaded, fatigued or weary, this time of year seeps into our spirits with a certain something. Why is that?
A courageous couple disregard social and cultural codes, commiting to God and to love. In the likelihood of shame and dishonour, poverty and rejection in a very regulated society, Mary courageously accepts her calling from God and, risking rejection, shares her news with her fiancé. What a woman!
Joseph, ‘who always did what was right’, courageously listens to an ‘angel of the Lord’, chooses to go beyond societal codes, and honours, marries and protects Mary and the baby. What a man!
Through their courageous commitment as a family, they audaciously listened and responded quickly to political dishonesty, wisdom from culturally and religiously different leaders, choosing to flee as refugees to a foreign country, remain alert and responsive, returning to a different town and community in safety. What a couple!
Courage can be fatiguing and weary-making. It can often be viewed by jaded others, as foolish and extravagant squandering of personal resources. Yet, there is a gentle warming of the soul when enduring audacity greets the shining light of courageous integrity, moving happiness to deep joy. Mary and Joseph experienced it. The visitors from the east experienced it.
Let us listen audaciously, move courageously towards the Light, and enjoy this timeless joy.
May courageous joy seep into our spirits once more.
How happy they were, what joy was theirs, when they saw the star! Matthew 2:10
Light of lights,
Shed my shadow of weariness and fatigue.
Let your light shine through my jaded view.
Kindle in me your warming starlight
so that I may
Then, with your light,
live in the joy of your glowing radiance.
© Rev Anne Hewitt 14/12/2022
This reflection may be shared as long as the original writer is credited.
Christmas or Star/Light Acknowledgement of Country
We look to the night sky and see stars beyond our counting.
Their light brings us joy in the darkness,
and keep us company
as we travel or rest in the deep of night.
They have shone on nations before our ancestors have lived.
In South Australia, the Kaurna people of the Adelaide Plains
travelled by and lived under these stars.
We acknowledge their living history,
the wisdom of the Elders past, present and emerging,
handed down over centuries,
and guiding them by the celestial map
as they travel over their lands.
We acknowledge the love and generosity
with which they have shared,
with all whom have come travelling on their land.