Today is Christmas Sunday. May God’s joy and peace be with you and with your family. I believe that Christmas itself is a mystery. It was a scandal that God came to us in a human form, especially to Jewish people who believed in monotheism, that there is only one God. It was a huge unacceptable scandal. So it was a mystery. Christmas itself is a mystery, but this mystery came to Joseph personally. Joseph encountered the situation where his fiance was pregnant when they didn’t have the relationship yet. Go back to 2000 years ago, put yourself in Joseph’s shoes. Joseph must have been really shocked and confused. Why is this happening to me? From the story self itself I realized that good news does not come to us in a nice and comfortable and acceptable way. It is good news, but when it comes to us, it doesn’t come to us in an easy, pleasant, or comfortable way. To Joseph, that good news did not come as good news. Rather, he came as a scary, shocking news. It didn’t come as joy to the world, the Lord is come. It came to him as a painful reality and incomprehensible mystery.
Good News Comes In Mystery
The good news does not always come as good news. I feel that that is how God works in our lives. When you look at Joseph in the Old Testament, the good news came to Joseph in a dream. And the dream said, the good news said, ‘you will be the great person’. But that goodness became reality only after a long period of struggle, hardships and difficulties. I realized that that is how God works. Before the good news of the resurrection, there is a period of the painful cross.
That is why it is not easy to believe God and to follow God. God drives us into mystery. God drives us into dilemma that doesn’t seem to have a solution. God always pushes us to the limit where we have no strength and no hope. God pushes us into that deep mystery and dilemma. And we cannot solve this dilemma with our brain and our strength doesn’t help us solve this problem. That good news is enveloped or wrapped around by this mystery and dilemma. Unless you break open that mystery and dilemma, we cannot enter into the good news. So it doesn’t come like easily. You have to break it open, to be able to enter into the good news. When Joseph experienced this dilemma, mystery, what did he do? He tried to deal with the situation with his righteousness. He was a good man. Jews might’ve been upset or angry. I mean, you’re supposed to marry me, and you’re already pregnant? For Joseph, it is beyond his understanding. So he might have been upset, disappointed, and also scared when he faced that reality that he had to deal with. Because of his anger, he could have exposed Mary to the public because he didn’t understand and let her be punished accordingly. Usually punishment was stoning at that time. He could have let her be stoned.
Even if he did that no one would’ve blamed him. But the scripture says that Joseph was a righteous man. Good man. His righteousness was not the righteousness of the law. His righteousness was the righteousness of loving his fiance. He wanted to protect her. He wanted to care for her. That’s why he wanted to quit the relationship quietly. He did his best in the given situation is as any human being can do. This was his way of dealing with the mystery and the dilemma that envelops the good news like a wrapping paper. Humanly speaking, he did his best, but that is not the way to break through the mystery and dilemma to reach the good news that is hidden. He might have resolved the situation in the least damaging way, but he would not have experienced the power of the good news.
Faith Breaks Through Dilemma
That was when God sent a messenger to Joseph. The angel told him not to be afraid to take Mary as his wife. The angel told him the pregnancy was not the result of human relationship, but the work of the Spirit and the child will save his people from their sins. Amazingly at that time, Joseph went beyond his righteousness. He accepted all of that with his faith. Joseph’s righteousness cannot break open the mystery and the dilemma that shielded the good news, but his faith did. His faith broke open the mystery and let him experience the good news. My friends, our life is surrounded by mystery and dilemma. When we try to solve them with human power and wisdom, it is difficult. We get tired, we even become frustrated. I’m sure you all experienced dilemma in life. You all experienced hopelessness in your life. When you tried to deal with your situation only with your brain and power, you get tired. You cannot break through that dilemma. You cannot break open that mystery.
Remember the good news is waiting behind that. What we need is faith to go beyond your dilemma and mystery. When we have faith, then we can break through the dilemma we experienced. If you have that, you have nothing to be scared of in your life. No matter what dilemma, no matter what mystery you may face in your life. If you have that faith then you will be able to break open that surface shield, and then you can enter into the world of the good news. At the end of the journey of faith, the good news is waiting for you. Ultimately that good news is waiting for you. I pray that you break through that thick fog of mystery in your life and see the good news. Look back at your life, how you came to where you are. You have broken through the dilemma and mystery many, many times through your faith.
It was God who helped you to break it open, to be able to embrace that good news. Joseph’s righteousness is good. We should live with that righteousness; being considerate of others. I’m mean Joseph had nothing to lose and Mary had everything to lose, but Joseph was considerate. That heart is a good heart. He was considerate of his fiance just to save her. That is good, but you need more than righteousness to be able to break through that dilemma. That is faith. I believe that that is a Christmas message. When God appears to us, I hope that we all have faith to accept God’s will. Then you’ll be able to live your life with good news, having good news in your heart. Remember two things: being righteous and faithful. These two things will carry us through. No matter what situation I may be in, I’ll be considerate of other people, I’ll always have their heart to care for other people. But also at the same time, I will have faith to go beyond the mystery of life, to be able to see the good news. The saviour who bring us good news is born today. Merry Christmas.