So her husband Joseph, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her publicly, decided to divorce her secretly. But after he had considered these things, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what has been conceived in her is by the Holy Spirit.”
In this third week of Advent, I’d like to suggest something provocative; I’d like to propose, as others have before me, that our God is too small. For those of us who have so much—and most of us in the West do, even in these economically challenging times—it’s often hard for us to imagine God as anywhere but in North America, doing North American things, in safe, North American churches. Our God is too small. But how can I say this? For one, I know the story of the nativity, the outlandish narrative of the Word made Flesh, God born in a dumpster to peasants from an undesirable corner of an occupied country.
In today’s reading, we are reminded that the wild, contradictory ways of God often confound our understanding, and even worse, completely disrupt our plans. Here, Joseph, a righteous man, did what a righteous man in his day and age would do when he heard that his fianc