23. Pondering

Short Meds in Getting Ready in Covid-Advent: 23. Pondering

Mt 1:20 as he considered these things.”

We are observing the circumstances of Joseph as we near the Nativity, his thoughts and feelings that, once he has received help to see the way through, show he is not only a righteous person – which does involve obedience – but he is also gentle, compassionate and caring. Compassionate and caring people tend to not only be people of emotion but they are people who think, who see the situation, think about it, see there is a need and think how they might resolve that need. Such people very often become charity workers or workers within society meeting the needs of society.

Joseph has been thinking about the situation he finds himself in and his thoughts (wanting to be obedient to the Law) are tempered by compassion and love, hence we read, did not want to expose her to public disgrace,” (v.19) and so we find, “he considered these things.”

Now this is still before Joseph has had angelic revelation in a dream. It seems he feels mystified by what is happening.  He loves Mary, he is betrothed (our ‘engaged’) to her, he is looking forward to actually getting married and he trusts her. And now he finds out she’s pregnant and he knows he is not the father. Something is not right here. He ponders on it, considers all he knows. So he is a good example of a godly man who sees only half the picture and is unhappy about that fact. We aren’t told he prayed, but that would need to be our first stopping point. Unsure? Uncertain? There’s a lot of that around this year. The first stop is to pray and listen. Have we done that? Had any revelatory dreams yet?  Just listen then. But at this time of the year, usually at least although it will be a bit different this year, we get caught up with so many preparations, as we noted on the 19th, we get caught up with getting the presents, getting food in, putting up decorations, and so on. Perhaps this year it may be more simplified and the burdens of activity are not so great. Time will tell. But usually, let’s be honest, activity triumphs over having time to think about these things, think about the reality of the things we’ve been considering this month, thinking about where they should lead us, and because of that we are spiritually poorer. I have lost count of the number of times, either I or someone I know, have commented that they are glad that Christmas is over and they can return to their usual spiritual routines. It should not be so. But it is the danger of any such celebration, e.g. Thanksgiving – do we make a big thing of thanking God?  or birthdays and anniversaries – do we do the same realizing that life is His gift to us. Joseph ‘considered’. May we do the same.  

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