Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Disgraceful Incarnation

Joseph, her fiancé, was a good man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly (Matthew 1:19).

How much do we overlook God’s kindness, or work or revelation because we are good people who like to bow out of shameful things quietly? When we are too driven to be good moral and religious people we often fail to follow God into more. We tend to glamorize Christmas but think about it from Joseph’s perspective. Don’t you think he believed there wasn’t any room in the inn because he had messed up? I imagine he walked away questioning why he married Mary and may have felt shame in that moment. I can’t picture him comfortably enjoying his first born son (that really wasn’t his) being birthed in a manger. His shame in that moment wasn’t because he did something wrong. It was because he was willing to follow what God called him to and the world often does not understand, accept or embrace God or his ways. Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful (1 Corinthians 1:27). When I started Daymark 13 years ago, because the church I was on staff at was having financial problems and I had to go part time, I felt it was because I had messed up. If I had heard God rightly I would have been in a different position. It took me 10 years to accept that Daymark was God’s leading and that it was a good idea. I could run through most of the other major decisions in my life and show you the conflict I felt in choosing them. There were always questions and shame surrounding the decisions I have made and the paths I have followed. When God embodied himself in the form of a man he was born to a couple facing shame in a manger outside of town. In some ways it couldn’t have been more scandalous. So, my thought is this. Let’s embrace the shame we must face with more courage and hope. It is often the place God is revealing Himself and carrying out his plan. Merry Christmas!

1 comment:

Karen said...

So glad to have read this.