At the beginning of this time of Advent, this time of waiting for the birth of Christ and looking forward to the return of the Crucified, Risen and Ascended Christ, I have been reflecting and reading the accounts of Jesus' birth in the gospels.
This man seriously stepped up and acted with real integrity, godliness, faithfulness and honesty in what must have been extraordinarily difficult, confusing and scary circumstances.
It made me reflect on our own society and the how we today could learn so much from the character and behaviour of Joseph.
It made me think about how he didn't cry that he was a victim and throw out his dummy and walk away.
It made me think how he saw the need to be a man, not a boy, and act with honesty and integrity.
It made me think how he did what ever he could to protect Mary and Jesus, how went to great lengths to ensure their safety and to live within the will and heart of God.
I see in Joseph a man who put the needs and love of others ahead of himself.
I get concerned when society gets into the blame game and we always see ourselves as victims.
I get concerned when church lacks integrity and honesty and we don't speak truthfully and honestly about who we are and who God is.
I get concerned when church gets turned into a marketing machine, when woman are sidelined, when men won't grow up, when the gospel is not preached, when selfish desires are put ahead and above the community.
At the Christmas time the church and the community can learn much from the story of Joseph and his response to a terrifying, unique and history changing event. HIs story enables us to see what truth, honesty, authenticity and faithfulness looks like. We see love in action. And that is a valuable and needed truth to hold onto this Christmas time.