Christmas is a cute story and season for most of us, but it probably wasn’t for Joseph.
I once heard a story of how a circus artist began to perform for an enthusiastic audience, taking on challenge after challenge.
He would ask the audience ‘do you believe I can walk on a rope tied up across this building?’
The excited audience would scream ‘yes!!’
And then he would do it with such skill and glamour.
‘Do you believe I can juggle three balls and walk on the rope across the building?’
Again, he keeps the audience spell bound with the stunt.
‘Do you believe I can carry a weight of 100 kg and walk on the rope hanging across the building?’
‘Yeeesssss, we believe!!!’
Job done. Deafening ovation.
‘Next up, do you believe I can carry one of you all on my shoulders and walk across the rope?’
‘We believe!!!’ screamed the excited audience.
‘Alright , here we go. Gentleman over there, please come.’
Gentleman refuses. He’s excited to watch the artist carry someone across the rope, but unwilling to be the one to be carried.
‘My sister there, please come’. She also refuses.
‘Okay, can I have a volunteer come forward.’ Nobody would.
‘Do you all believe I can do this??’
‘Can someone come forward?’
It’s one thing to know the great things God does, its another to be willing to give ourselves to be a part of His story.
I’m not sure Christmas was as cute a story for Joseph as it is for us.
I imagine Joseph had his dreams all through his growing up years- dreams of how he would love to have a daughter as his first child. And how she’ll grow to be a doctor!
Maybe dreams of how his eldest son would be called Tolulope and would succeed him in the carpentry business.
And then talk about a God interruption.
Or better put, a God invitation.
An angel tells Joseph the script and summons him to a role.
‘We’ll use your wife. You’ll have a son. He’ll be a saviour. Call him Jesus. Well, quite a few implications, but deal with all that.’
This was never Joseph’s plan.
He dreamed of a beautiful pre-wedding photoshoot, not embarrassing pre-wedding pregnancy explanations.
He dreamed like any other man of his first son taking the carpentry business to a new height, not taking a carpentry product to the hill to die.
He was like any ordinary man looking up to God to raise him, not looking to raise God in his home.
We celebrate Christmas today because Joseph gave up his will, his wife, his home and his plans for a God story.
The story of God invading the earth again today, building His Kingdom and reaching the world is being told through very ordinary men and women, boys and girls, who are willing to give up their lives, resource, efforts, plans and ambitions for a God cause.
We all know God tells great stories.
May we never just resign to being an awe-struck audience. May we be courageous enough to pick up the script and stand in our roles.
May Jesus find in you a Joseph spirit of surrender and may your heart, your home and all you have, be a means for him to invade the earth in this day.
It’s not really Christmas if Jesus isn’t Lord of the story.