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Joseph Shows Up For Mary

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus.

Matthew 1: 18-25

While we were thinking about what we wanted to dwell on this advent season, we wondered how to incorporate the "Just Show Up" theme without things seeming small or dispassionate. We sat thinking of Jesus, of the wise men, of the provision of a birthing place, etc.

Suddenly I was hit by how terrified Mary, the mother of Jesus, must have been. Mary's enormous faith shouldered the weight of fear beyond understanding. Could she have faced being an outcast, a vulnerable woman, a young mother without the understanding of her betrothed?

During my freshman year at Anderon University, I experienced a lot of trauma and have yet to bring those things to light in my public testimony. Despite this, it is sprinkled throughout my writings, present in my daily life, and in my nightmares each night. I have begun my advent reading about the real fears and doubts Mary and Joseph experienced upon learning about Jesus.

There are so many things in this life that cause us fear and may not appear to be what God has planned for us, but ultimately Joseph's actions toward Mary show us blind obedience.

When Joseph was visited in his dreams, he chose faith. Rather than take things as they appeared to be, Joseph showed up for Mary and for his God. How could Mary have ever traveled to Bethlehem, delivered her child, and been provided for if Joseph had not obeyed the call to show up and stay with Mary?

Joseph's presence in the Gospel was instrumental in Jesus' arrival and prosperity in the world. How can this teach us to show up when things are not as they appear? How can Joseph model the ability to be a blind instrument of God? Let us rejoice in God's birth by studying the importance of PRESENCE throughout the Gospel. This is the focus of our advent here at Women's Ministry.

As you prepare for the Christmas season, dwell on the importance of presence in the Gospel and how that can reflect on your spiritual journey. We are all sinners and we are all afraid at times, but let us rejoice and allow our faith to shoulder these fears.

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