In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David.(Luke 2: 1-4)
From King David to the average Jo(seph), the story of Judaism and Christianity is one of underdogs … the lowest common denominator. God’s work on earth includes history littered with women and men of humble origins, lifted to the status of heroes, if only for a moment. And, as with anything, time eats away at status, eroding power and relegating relational truth to distant memory and legend.
From the King of Judah to a day laborer eking out an existence in Nazareth, a small town far away from the limelight of Jerusalem, the lifeline of God’s promise ebbed and flowed for generations, waiting for its moment to become flesh and blood, to fulfill a long-held vow. And when that time arrived, the day laborer took his supporting role aside his new bride. He hid his family when danger was near, then continued to work and provide food and shelter, living an otherwise unremarkable life as the adoptive father to the son of God.
Joseph’s special moment in this story wasn’t to become king, lead a people, or defeat an army. His surprising role in the literal birth of Christianity was to simply trust and love his wife and provide for his family. When we inspect this singular brick in the building that is our faith it might seem mundane. But, without the support of this brick, how could the walls stand?
There are surprises waiting in the mundane passages of life for every one of us. Maybe your special moment is just around the corner. Or maybe it’s now.
Are you aware? Are you ready?
Father, be in my heart and lead my spirit. Help me to prepare so that when my surprising moment is before me, I will be aware and ready to do whatever my part is in supporting your great story. In your name I pray, amen.