Learning from Joseph

Dear Members and Friends of IBCZ,

This past Sunday we considered one of the often-overlooked characters in the Christmas story – Joseph.  Joseph had to respond to the most unexpected news imaginable – the woman he was engaged to was pregnant.  We saw how Joseph was willing to die to the normal human responses such as anger, resentment, and revenge.  Even before the angel assured Joseph that Mary was pregnant due to the supernatural working of the Holy Spirit, he had decided that he would treat Mary kindly.  Along with that, he was willing to give up his reputation as a righteous man to go ahead and marry Mary.

Joseph was an ordinary man, simply a carpenter.  Yet God had amazing plans for him – to join Mary in raising the One who would be Savior of the world.  Because Joseph’s heart was surrendered to God, those plans came to pass.

One author, Walter Wangerin, writes that Joseph was “a common man caught up in cosmic affairs.”  What a wonderful picture of not only God’s plans for Joseph, but what can be true for all of us.  In the end, we are all simply common people. But God desires to draw us common people into His magnificent and divine purposes – not only for our lives but for the world, just as he did with Joseph.

If, like Joseph, we are willing to work through the challenges of life in a way that honors God, if we will put God above our reputations and status and our own plans for our lives, and if we are willing to surrender ourselves totally to God, then like Joseph, we will see God’s purposes unfolding in and through our lives in ways that will amaze us.  What a great gift! So, let’s not settle for anything less than that. 

Wishing you all a blessed Christmas,

Pastor Bob

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