Joseph Moments

Dear Dreamers,

Matthew 1:18-25 takes me back to St Luke’s hospital in Kansas City in the late 80’s, early 90’s every time I hear it. My wife Amy was certainly under her share of stress. A dad's stress pales in comparison to a mom's, but we still have our share of anxiety and work to do. Fathers are often times the forgotten character in the birth story. In the case of Jesus' birth, his earthly pa gets one paragraph, Matthew 1:18-25. Essentially it’s the story of Joseph having a dream to go ahead and parent the child and be Mary’s husband though you are not the biological father and your future is not to be what you had dreamed it would be.

Is Jesus the one you expect? Is Jesus the Savoir you dreamed of?

Philip Yancy says that when the Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci went to China in the 16th century , he brought along samples of religious art to illustrate the Christian story for people who had never heard it. The Chinese readily adopted portraits of the Virgin Mary holding her child, but when he produced paintings of the crucifixion and tried to explain the God-child had grown up only to be executed, the audience reacted with revulsion and horror. They much preferred the Virgin and insisted on worshipping her rather than the crucified God.

Who is Jesus to you? Have you created a Jesus in your image or one who challenges your dreams, and leads you on paths more adventuresome than any you would find on your own? This Sunday, it will be my joy to share the sermon with Kyle Larson. Kyle will talk about what it was like to serve as a missionary in Mexico for a year. He will share about his Joseph moments of being led into situations by his God that were not what he dreamed of, but were true to the ways of the Christ child.

Still in One Peace,

Pastor David  J. Jensen

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