When Noah was a small child, he loved to climb to the highest point that he could find and jump to Matt. I’m not talking about a top step…more like the roof of the playground slide or out of the top of a tree. He was fearless. He knew without a doubt that daddy would be there to catch him every time. This memory came to mind as I studied the different characters that played in God’s nativity story this last week. I particularly thought of Joseph.
I think that Joseph is often an unsung hero in the story of Jesus’ birth. I believe that He was brave.
Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep,
did as the angel of the Lord commanded him
and took to him his wife,
and did not know her till she had brought forth
her firstborn Son.
And he called Him Jesus.
Joseph was standing at one of the tallest points to jump from culturally. His betrothed was pregnant. This meant one of two things; either she was unfaithful or He had not shown restraint. Either scenario was shameful. To marry her was to admit guilt. He braved the scorn of society when he chose to marry a pregnant woman.
He didn’t stop there. Joseph stayed by her side through a dark night of pain which gave way to the arrival of the Messiah – a Messiah that no one was expecting. Certainly not as a baby. And then when the danger was great, God asked to jump again. Go to Egypt. Ignore the danger of travel, the confusion of a new country and the worry of how to provide for your family. Just jump. And jump he did.
I would think that they were just getting their feet under them when the Lord said it was time to go home. Joseph would have to again face the scorn of family. He probably worried if it was really safe to return. And again, he would have to restart his family business and figure out how to provide for Mary & the wee Savior. Scripture tells us
Then he arose, took the young Child and His mother,
and came into the land of Israel.
To be brave, doesn’t mean you’re not afraid. It means stepping over those fears and doing what needs to be done. Doing the right thing. We can follow Joseph’s example of bravery….
We can be different than our current culture.
We can trust God’s provision in less than ideal situations.
We can jump in life knowing full well that our Daddy is waiting, arms open wide, ready to catch us.
What I love about the Christmas story is that it’s God’s story. While I benefit from it, it’s not about me. It wasn’t about Joseph. But because Joseph chose to be brave he played a part in fulfilling God’s will. Truth is, none of this life is about me, it’s all about God. When I choose to be brave, I humbly get to be a part of the story. So be brave this Christmas season. Jump, So That God’s glorious will is fulfilled.