Love bumbles on Advent 4

Vicar’s Reflection: Love bumbles on. Advent 4, 22nd December 2019

“There is a right way and a wrong way to do things, and then again, there is my way!” A rumoured saying of a certain football coach. The laws of aero-dynamics suggest that wings have to be a certain shape to enable flight, then again there is the bumble bee. This is the right or wrong dilemma that faced Joseph when his bride-to-be, Mary was found pregnant. Cultural expectations around sexuality may be more relaxed today, but even so this could be awkward. In Joseph’s time, more than awkward, possibly life-threatening, as the law would have allowed Joseph to denounce Mary; her family’s honour would be stained; she would be rejected by both families. But Joseph wanted to do the right thing and thought a quiet divorce would give Mary the chance of survival. Then again, God had different ideas, and an angel (messenger) of God suggests a different course: to embrace Mary and this coming Child as God’s will and gift to humanity. We can be thankful that Joseph saw beyond the narrow perspective of culturally loaded “rights and wrongs” and grasped the bigger reality of the new life with all its potential growing within Mary. The law is important of course but then again there is a place for mercy and grace and the unfolding of God’s purpose, at the heart of which is love. A good symbol of God’s love could be a bumble bee, which despite the laws of aero-dynamics faithfully goes about its sweet business.

Alex Czerwonka

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