On this blessed day of Epiphany, we are delighted to present to you the winner of our Third Annual Writing Contest. This year, we asked you to reflect on the topic, “WWJD: What Would Joseph Do?” and, as always, it was a privilege to be on the receiving end of your contemplations. Thank you to everyone who participated!
We’d like to share our four favorite posts with you this week, starting today with a post written by our contest winner, Megan Davis. Congratulations, Megan, on winning a free copy of He Remembers the Barren, and thank you for allowing us to share with our readers what we think is one of the most brilliant metaphors we’ve read in a long time.
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“What Would Joseph Do?”
Joseph would be a righteous and just man with a long and noble linage in the LCMS. He would eventually be convinced by his pastor to pack up his family and head to the seminary. He would study hard and prove to be a man of wisdom, conviction and great love. He would eagerly head to his vicarage assignment.
It would be nothing like he imagined. The first service and his installation would be beautiful, but then there would be a voters meeting. The head elder would get in a fist fight with the usher over the color of the new carpet. The organist would whisper to him that the pastor was a drunkard. His children would be called hooligans and his wife’s hem line criticized. In the coarse of two hours he would hear every commandment shattered. He would come home that first Sunday and drop his head into his hands and weep over the sinfulness of the church. She was like his bride to be and she acted like this. Despite his deep love for her, all he would see inside her was the fruit of evil. He would resolve to finish out his duties as vicar then quietly leave the seminary and take his family home. He could not marry a whore like this.
But as he went through his year, God would soften his heart. Through the readings and the liturgy Joseph would be reminded that, despite her sinfulness, God was living inside His Church. Through prayer Joseph would be granted eyes that could see the innocence of Christ overshadowing her sinful nature. And much to Joseph’s surprise, God would reveal Himself living in her midst and bearing fruit through her.
So when the time came he would go back to the seminary with a glowing review from his supervisor. He would finish his classes and receive a Call from God to care for and love His Church. At the ordination, Joseph and His Church would be joined not unlike in marriage. The first year would be as awkward as a long journey on the back of a donkey nine months pregnant. The fruits of the Spirit would be born at the most inopportune times, in the most uncomfortable places and witnessed by the least likely of people. Nothing would ever go the way he would plan. From his little pulpit in an out-of-the-way church, he would have to guide his bride through a foreign, pagan world. Together they would long for the peace of the promised land. And when he would wonder what he was doing, and if he could continue, he would get to hold the very body of Christ in his hands.