We had another clergy write yesterday.  Our third write was on the phrase (from “O Little Town of Bethlehem”) “Be Born In Me Today.”  I think I may have at least a start for Sunday’s sermon:

At bible study yesterday we were talking about Joseph, who was going to put Mary aside quietly (rather than have her stoned or publicly humiliated) when he had a dream.  And a dream is certainly not an automatically authoritative event.  We have lots of dreams, and they don’t all come from God — though therapists tell us we can all benefit from paying attention to our dreams.

Anyway, Joseph clearly didn’t want Mary as his wife when he had this dream. He had already chosen a course of action.  He knew what he wanted to do.  But somehow, he didn’t do it.

In my mind, the dream must have given him pause, and made him think about, not what he wanted to do, but rather about what God might want him to do.  And he seems to have come to some kind of clarity about that.  And he chose to do what God wanted, rather than what he thought he wanted.

And I’m thinking two things about that.  First, that making the choice to follow God’s will is how Christ is born in us today.  Second, that I think things probably worked out pretty well for Joseph.  At least if you don’t count that whole refugee in Egypt in fear of his life thing.  But, honestly, I think, even if you do.

Jesus didn’t live an easy life.  But I think he lived a full, productive and largely happy life.  And if Jesus lives in us, I think we can probably expect the same.  We live in a broken world.  It is God’s good creation.  But, largely through our own choices and actions, there is a lot of tragedy and sorrow in this world.  We may be God’s.  But this is also the world we live in.  We cannot expect to escape from it unscathed.

But in the fullness of our relationship with God, and with one another, there is also a richness and joy in life that is God’s will for us, and that I believe we can also expect.

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