Beauty of Advent Pt 1
Part of the beauty of the Advent is the obscurity of it all. We view this story as ubiquitous, but as it was unfolding it was so obscure and the players were unknown. A young couple getting ready to begin their life together, some shepherds just doing their jobs, a group of astronomers seeking the anomaly they had been studying, and a cousin who just loved her kin. Most of the story was everyday life unfolding and humans entertaining the thought, “Is this all really happening?”
Mary and Joseph just wanted to be married; they wanted to follow the cultural norm of their day and be together. And yet when asked to unwittingly enter into the grand story of history by carrying and caring for the Savior, they obeyed. In obscurity they obeyed solely for the Lord.
This obedience did not net them any gain, it actually brought pain. Mary was basically exiled to Elizabeth’s and Joseph’s reputation was tarnished. They submitted to the Lord’s plan for His glory, not their own. Part of the frustration with obedience in obscurity is that while you are in the midst of it, no one is patting you on the back, sometimes no one is encouraging you, sometimes you know that God sent you this task and you must obey. So, you put your head down and do the work. I wonder if Joseph felt this way. His obedience was significant, and yet we know so little about him. Ironically, his obscurity and his obedience are what he is known for.
The cast of characters God used are a picture of obscure obedience. The shepherds were just a group of guys going to work the night shift. We do not even know their names, but we know they obeyed. The Wisemen saw something they could not understand, so they sought the truth. And the Truth they found would soon be more than overwhelming than the star they originally followed. Elizabeth knew that her child would make the way for the Messiah growing in the womb of her little cousin. Her knowledge of the story was minimal, but she loved Mary and obeyed the Lord.
The Advent was their lives, not a story they listen to annually. It was the obscurity that makes it beautiful.
My takeaway for the twenty-first century is this: put your head down and do the work, follow in the path of Joseph and Mary. Your labor will not be in vain; the Lord sees your obedience and He delights in your obscurity, join in song like the shepherds. The truth of Lord is why you do this, so His mysteries can be discovered, so seek like the Magi. Speak love into lives and continue to obey like Elizabeth did. Find the beauty in the obscure this Advent.
Written while listening to my Christmas 2017 playlist