Hymn: “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”
(ELW, No. 257, st. 5)
We may never know what Joseph was thinking when he decided to wed Mary. But clearly, Joseph was a Jew from the house of David. He would have known all the stories about a Messiah and would have shared the Jews’ longing for a Messiah. But did he understand exactly what his child was going to save the world from? Perhaps Joseph also thought Jesus would be a political messiah who would restore Israel to its lost unity.
But Jesus’ mission was so much more. He was not simply coming to restore the Israelite nation; he was coming to bring us all to God. He was coming for a global purpose, not just a national or cultural purpose. He was coming to lead the world to safe and sure footing by being God’s own gracious presence in our midst. I think Joseph can be forgiven for perhaps not totally comprehending this about his son, Emmanuel.
Thank you for securing our paths into God’s grace, O Lord Jesus Christ. We rejoice even when we cannot fully comprehend the breadth of your gracious mission. Amen.
Writers: Michael Binder ’17, Affiliate Faculty in Congregational Mission and Leadership; Amy Marga, Associate Professor of Systematic Theology. Theological Editor: James L. Boyce ’71, Professor Emeritus of New Testament and Greek. Cover photo by Elizabeth Explores on Unsplash.