A History of Advent in 25 People-23

A brief reflection today as we think of MARY and JOSEPH who could be described as the last human link in the chain that began in Eden and ended in Bethlehem.

An ordinary couple, from the tribe of Judah, betrothed to one another with Joseph deeply shocked when in Matthews words, Mary was ‘found to be with child from the Holy Spirit’ Matthew 1.18.

Mary’s shock had occurred earlier when  Gabriel was sent from God to Nazareth to tell her that she was to give birth to a baby that was none other than God in human form – but not just ‘in human form’ but fully human while still being fully God.

Fully human meaning that, among other things

He was little weak and helpless

Tears and smiles like us he knew

Make sure that you have grasped the enormity of this statement – yes I know it is from a carol but it is spot on! As Charles Wesley so succinctly put it:

Our God contracted to a span

Incomprehensively made man

Consequently he knows perfectly all our joys and sorrows and everything it means to be human. *To pursue this key aspect of the incarnation I recommend the link below.

Joseph’s actions in the light of this pregnancy were exemplary for ‘being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, he resolved to divorce her quietly’ v.19, which course of action was prevented by the intervention of an angel of the Lord v.20, for this was all God’s doing.

As you think back over the 22 days of Advent thus far consider the strangeness and yet perfection of God’s plans.

He used perfectly ordinary and often insignificant people.

He worked miracles of conception in childless women

Nothing failed of all the promises made

He chose, he directed, we might say, reverently, he choreographed the whole wonderful history to teach us and to display his sovereign purposes and this should draw out our hearts, and indeed our whole beings, in wonder, love and praise.

Think today of those  he used and ask ‘Am I available to be used by him whatever he asks me to do?’


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