It’s Advent! The season of anticipation that something’s coming. When I was a I knew what was coming! Christmas! For me it started the Friday after Thanksgiving. No – not because it was the Black Friday shopping day. It was the day my mother would stack the Christmas albums on the record player and start playing them over and over, the same songs in the same order. The tree would go up the same day. Lights in the windows, too. There was a train set when I was really young. I would get out the Sunday paper to find out when all the Christmas specials would be on TV because I didn’t want to miss any. Loads of anticipation. Then came the wait. Impatience reigned. Counting down the days. Would Christmas morning ever come? It was the longest month – ever!
Joseph was in a season of anticipation. He was engaged to Mary. He was waiting for the marriage and her move into his home. That would be in a year or two. I am sure he was counting the days. Would the wedding date ever come? She would become his helpmate. She would take care of the home while he earned the money to pay for their needs. They would be a team. Mary would also bear his children. They would become a family. The family was the core of Jewish society and a center for its religious life. In the Jewish tradition, it is said that God waits impatiently for men and women to marry and have children. Marriage was a holy institution.
But then – something unexpected. Mary became pregnant. This created quite a bit of emotional and religious turmoil for Joseph. I can only imagine the disappointment. What he anticipated was not to be. But the something else happened – and it turned out to be something better, for him and for Mary. Want to hear more? Come and hear Pastor Jeff preach “An Unexpected Responsibility” based on Matthew 1: 18-25 this Sunday at John McMillan Presbyterian Church. Services are at 8:30 and 11. Let’s get the Advent anticipation started!