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A Reflection for the 4th Week of Advent –

A Reflection for the 4th Week of Advent – Matthew 1:18 – 25 

Key verse:  “When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel commanded him; he took her as his wife.” 

I was shopping in the grocery store when the unexpected happened.  My phone vibrated with an incoming text.  My husband wrote an unexpected question.  “What’s the next level of degree that you could obtain?”  I responded.  He continued.  “Have you ever wanted to achieve that degree?”  I responded.  He continued.  “What about now?  Would you want to go back to school now?”  This was just getting weird so I called him and asked him where these questions were coming from.  He told me he really had no idea.  The thought had just come to him out of the blue.

That’s when I knew.  This was a totally unexpected conversation.  I had thought about going back to school about 10 years ago but my financial position didn’t support the idea so I put it out of my head and went on with my life.  Truthfully, I never gave it a second thought.  Until that day.

Often times unexpected things that happen are signs that God is at work.  As soon as my husband said he didn’t know where the questions were coming from, I knew.  Somehow God was in the midst of these questions and I was being prompted to do some reflecting and discerning.

In the end I settled on applying for a D.Min. in Preaching.  This first year has been intensive and very life-giving.  I have no idea where it’s going to lead, but I know beyond a 

shadow of a doubt that God was and is calling me to participate in this program at this time.

Joseph, in the midst of a dream, learned that Mary’s child was from the Holy Spirit.  God was doing something new in Jesus and Joseph was offered the chance to be a part of this newness.  To stay with Mary and to raise the Son of God alongside Mary.  Joseph must have been weighing his options, thinking of every little thing when that unexpected dream occurred.  The Gospel simply says, “When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel commanded him; he took her as his wife.”

It seems so simple.  God intervened in an unexpected way and Joseph responded.  When unexpected things happen, it can be a sign that God is at work doing something new.

Some things to ponder for this week:

  1. When have you experienced unexpected events?
  2. Were you able to hear God at work in the midst of the unexpected?
  3. How did your faith change as a result of what you observed?
  4. How did your experience change your life moving forward?
  5. How do you stay open to the unexpected ways that point to God at work?