Advent Reflections 2022: 14th December

Matthew 1: 18-25
Two questions today.

Question 1. Are you good at following instructions?

I don’t mean “Are you good at reading them, and generally succeed at getting them right?” (which can depend on the quality of the instructions). I mean “When someone gives, or tries to give you, instructions, are you minded to generally comply or resist?” What’s your first impulse? I know what mine is.

I guess it might vary with your mood, how busy you are, who’s giving the instructions and how difficult they look like being to complete, among other things. Maybe also what the reward might be. What do you do about instructions? Do you ignore them or query them? Do you think you know a better way?

Instructions come from many people in different ways. Today’s story is the first of four visitations to Joseph, giving him important instructions. We aren’t told his state of mind or his reaction on receiving any of them. (Compare Luke’s Gospel where we do hear Mary’s emotions.) But we are told that he followed them.

Question 2. Do you think God has a plan that includes you? (Maybe this is two questions in one, but we’ll let it stand.)

We were meditating about this at Sanctus recently: whether life proceeds in a straight line, or if it is messy and loops, retraces and folds back, and where it reaches in the end.

How has yours gone/how is yours going? And if it has looped about, does this say anything about you, or God, or both?

Reflect on your own experience.

Pray: Help me to understand your plan, Lord, and my place (or not) in it.

Paul Johnson