From today’s gospel reading:
But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream…
From the lens of the law, Joseph resolves to divorce Mary quietly. From the lens of the law, Joseph goes to bed settled upon the ‘right thing to do,’ by himself, by Mary. From the lens of the law, Joseph connects only dots he can see in a way that relieves his wounded ego, his reputation, his dilemma. From the lens of the law the meaning of this chaos, this disruption, this very bad news eludes Joseph. Too wounded perhaps to even wonder what God was doing in his life; what the purpose of such an unexpected and unwanted relational crisis was intended for. Resolved through the lens of the law, Joseph sleeps, expecting to set in motion the separation and divorce from Mary come morning.
But God doesn’t play to our expectations. God shows up. While he sleeps. In his dream. A Holy Spirit whisper. A third way. A better way. For Joseph. For Mary. For the world. God’s way. The only way. Dots connected.
Thank God, Joseph slept. Gave the Lord space, time, to speak to him. Let his rational, law-grounded, self-care, black-white, thoughts be put to rest. The armor of his ego and reputation shed for a few hours to sleep. Vulnerable, open. God comes to him. Speaks to him. Space for grace. That’s where the heart is touched and transformed to a life lived for God’s will to be done. Where dots connect and grace happens.
Lectionary Readings January 1, 2013: AM Psalm 103; PM Psalm 148
Isa. 62:1-5,10-12; Rev. 19:11-16; Matt. 1:18-25