Untriumphantly: Calm Down

This second week of Advent is the week of Peace!

Here is how the birth of Yeshua the Messiah took place. When his mother Miryam was engaged to Yosef, before they were married, she was found to be pregnant from the Ruach HaKodesh. Her husband-to-be, Yosef, was a man who did what was right; so he made plans to break the engagement quietly, rather than put her to public shame. But while he was thinking about this, an angel of Adonai appeared to him in a dream and said, “Yosef, son of David, do not be afraid to take Miryam home with you as your wife; for what has been conceived in her is from the Ruach HaKodesh. She will give birth to a son, and you are to name him Yeshua, [which means ‘Adonai saves,’] because he will save his people from their sins.”

All this happened in order to fulfill what Adonai had said through the prophet,

“The virgin will conceive and bear a son,
and they will call him ‘Immanu El.”

(The name means, “God is with us.”)

When Yosef awoke he did what the angel of Adonai had told him to do — he took Miryam home to be his wife, but he did not have sexual relations with her until she had given birth to a son, and he named him Yeshua.

Matthew 1:18-25 (CJB)

            First things first—the first thing you probably focused on in today’s reading is that weird name “Ruach HaKodesh”. This is a transliteration of the Hebrew word for the Holy Spirit—Ruach being breath, spirit, or wind. (If your mind went to Genesis, you’re not alone, my friend.) HaKodesh meaning something like Holy One. Now that we have that burning question out of the way, we can continue. 

            So, here we have the story of Joseph. His tale was destined for the Maury show—am I right? His fiancé is pregnant; he resists the urge to put her on blast and instead is trying to come up with some way that he can handle this quietly. Now, I’m just going to say that not many of us would be so gracious. We’d definitely be tempted to blast this girl all over social media. But Joseph, well, he’s a man of great character. 

            Joseph (Yosef in Hebrew) is pondering all this when he falls asleep. An angel appears to him in a dream and tells him that the baby daddy is God and he should still marry Mary (Miryam in Hebrew). He wakes up, and he does what the angel in his dream told him. 

            Most people these days would find this story even more odd. Not only does an angel tell Joseph about Jesus in a dream, but then Joseph follows the dream advice. Most people these days find dreamers a bit strange. I’ve got a secret for you. I’m a dreamer. I’ve been told a number of things in dreams and then, in my waking moments, have had to make the choice to do what my dream said or not. That is such a weird place to be. “Honey, we’ve got to do X.” “Why? That doesn’t even make sense.” “God told me in a dream.” Such a weird conversation… (And probably equally weird to be on the other side of the conversation.) 

            Joseph is faced with a problem: he dreams the answer. His waking self then accepts this, and he calms down and does what his dream told him to do. In all of this mystery, in the miracle of a virgin conceiving the promised and long-awaited Messiah, we have a man sleeping and then waking and obeying the voice in his dream.

            You might not be a dreamer. You might not have these deep revelations or instructions from God laid out in a dream. But what we all do have is the Word of God in our hands and in our hearts. If we can quiet the noise long enough, we can hear the voice and obey. I know it isn’t popular to talk about hearing the voice of God, but if you aren’t listening, you’ll never hear it. And if you never hear it, your soul will never find the calm you’re looking for. So hush! Sleep! Dream! Read! Listen for the voice of God, get comfortable with living this mystery, and obey His Word. God is really with us. We can all calm down.

Today’s song: Noel by Chris Tomlin with Lauren Daigle

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