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Jay blogs about indigenous worldview, New Zealand History and the importance of cultural partnership. 

Joseph: Double-Downs the Super Abnormal

Christmas Quipper 1

“Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.”  -Matty-Boy Chapter 1, verse 19 

Ok, before we get too excited here, let’s be frank: a virgin birth is nuts! We’re not here to debate biology and magic, but to work with the story the storyteller told. So let’s look for a moment at an unsung hero of the Christmas story, St. Joseph, the patron saint of Chippies (well, of all workers to be precise).

When Jo-Bro discovers his fiancé is up-the-duff without his help, but that of a Holy-Seed (super abnormal moment number one), his response is… interesting. First, he’s relatively relaxed about it. Somewhat sage-like. No anger. No losing of the plot. Just the need for him to make a calm and sensible decision in light of his culture and religious plot: he decides to divorce her.

Divorcing his honey was a religiously appropriate thing to do for a first-century fulla in his circumstance. He just had to write her out a piece of paper and say, “Sayonara! I’m taking my Makita tool-kit to some other wahine!” He had every right to pronounce this with great fanfare to the public, but he didn’t. He kept it on the low-down like a pair of Tradies undies. Why? I think he loved her. 

Wrestling with the laws of his religion, the practical outworking of those laws and the love for his pregnant beauty, St. Jo falls asleep and encounters an extra-celestial angel-chap. He is encouraged to stick it out with his love and tautoko the one who bears a child not his. In other words God advises Joseph to do another super abnormal thing to his culturally-conditioned manhood and his religious mores. And Jo-Bro does it. It’s all very scandalous. 

Sometimes it is entirely appropriate, if not important, to go against the religious expectations of the day. Now this is not a licence to selfishly do whatever. It’s just to say that beautiful Christmas carols and cute nativity scenes may fit in churches but sometimes following God and doing the God-thing doesn’t. The original Christmas shunted the religion of the day and the same law-bending Spirit is conceiving new life within change-agents today. 

So make like Joseph, and build beyond the norm.

Merry Xmas.

JR

José y Maria by Everett Patterson  http://www.everettpatterson.com/?p=1835

José y Maria by Everett Patterson http://www.everettpatterson.com/?p=1835

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