Each week during Advent (the 4-week season leading up to Christmas), we are listening to the stories surrounding Jesus’ birth. Over the last two weeks, we’ve heard the angel Gabriel announce to Mary that she would conceive and birth to a child; we watched as Mary and her relative Elizabeth visited; we listened as Mary sang her song of joy – The Magnificat.
This week we turn our attention to Joseph.
Understandably, Joseph does not get much attention. After all, the husband should never be the center of attention in the delivery room. The focus should be on the mother and child. Yet this week we’ll shine the spotlight on Joseph is only for a few moments, for Joseph has something to teach us.
You see, God needs Joseph.
As will hear in the scripture for this week (Matthew 1: 18-25), God needs Joseph to marry Mary and to name her child. By naming Jesus, Joseph claims the child. You might say Joseph “adopts” Jesus as his own.
In his action, Joseph teaches us something about what it means to live faithfully in a world that does not always go as we plan.
What does Joseph teach us?
I’ll give you a hint: it has to do with the third candle we will light on our Advent wreath.