Tuesday Dec. 24, Christmas Eve
Scripture: Matthew 1:20-25
In Matthew 1:20 an angel appears to Joseph. Joseph has just decided to end his engagement to Mary, because she’s pregnant, and the baby isn’t his. Just when he had resolved to do this, God does a very God-like thing. God intervenes and changes Joseph’s mind. God’s method of intervention is an angel who speaks to Joseph in a dream. And Joseph reverses course and marries Mary, adopting her son as his own.
Joseph almost opted out. Almost left the story before it started.
Almost… but at the last minute, something happened. The car is in reverse and the back-up camera is on. The suitcase is packed and the Thermos is full of hot coffee. At the edge of the driveway, he puts it back in park. He turns the engine off and walks back in through the front door of the life that he said goodbye to five minutes ago.
Joseph went to bed with his mind made up. Then the dream came. It changed everything.
The Greek word for repentance is metanoia, and it means to change your mind. The coming of Jesus leads to repentance, a radical change of mind. It starts with Jesus’ own earthly father. Like Mary, Joseph is a model for discipleship.
For disciples of Jesus it’s never too late to change our minds (or to have them changed by God’s intervention). We may have thought that our minds were made up, but we can never be so sure of our own rightness that we close the door all the way. God may open that door back up and change everything.
Prayer: It is unsettling, O God, to put our lives into your hands. Who knows? You may call us to go where we thought we’d never go. You might just change us. Frightening as it may be, we ask that you would indeed visit us in this holy season. Amen.