Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Annunciation to Joseph
v5 Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
We are approaching another Christmas and this one in the midst of a pandemic will look quite different from our usual celebrations. Every year when I watch a Christmas play, I feel quite sorry for Joseph who is the forgotten, almost insignificant character. Mary, shepherds, angels, king Herod and the donkey have more of a prominence in most plays than Joseph does. There are songs sung about baby Jesus, Mary, angels, wise men and even the little donkey but not too many on Joseph; on how he embraced the news or what he felt. Joseph had to deal with the painful reality that his soon to be wife was pregnant; but not with his child. Psalm 43 could act as a reflection of how alone Joseph felt and how alone some of us may feel going through the valleys of our life.
In this Psalm, there is a feeling of disorientation. The Psalmist took his feeling of injustice to God and left it at His throne. It is hard to go through challenging times without leaning on that source of support. The psalmist felt alone. Questioning ‘why’ or ‘why me’ when going through trials is normal. The psalmist wonders why God did not do things according to how he thought, especially when the answer seems obvious. In v.3, we see the Psalmist asking for light and truth from God instead of relying on his own strength. The Psalm that begins by sounding depressed ends in praise and this shift happens once he acknowledges where his strength comes from. The psalmist seeks to go to the holy mountain to further focus on God and enjoy the communion of other fellow believers. The psalmist was confident that God would come to his aid. But while he waited, he did not succumb to his feelings of discouragement. He did not take any shortcuts. Instead, he challenged those feelings and took them to God. Our God is strong enough to handle all our feelings and our doubts. At the end of the psalm there is no indication of his situation changing but the writer’s outlook did and that made all the difference. Though Joseph initially wanted to divorce Mary quietly, he was able to heed to God’s will and that shift in attitude brought joy to the whole world. It was not easy but with God’s help, it was possible.
Dear God, help us bring our struggles, worries, fears and doubts to You and help us to be receptive to Your light, Amen
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7
W/O Rev. Larry P Varghese
MTC, Silicon Valley CA
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church