A third of the way through the calendar. It’s been primarily Attack of the Clones references, and today there is another one. Republic Gunship. Or, if you want to be technical about it, it’s a Low Altitude Assault Transport.
In Attack of the Clones, we have the contrived Battle of Geonosis. There are some nice scenes within it, but I don’t really care that much for it in the Star Wars saga. Obi-Wan, Anakin, Padme, and a host of Jedi are about to be killed when the Clone Army descends into the scene to rescue them. The ships used to rescue them are Republic Gunships. (Click here to see the scene.)
Now these gunships were highly advanced. They were extremely maneuverable, and had considerable firepower. It’s no wonder they turned the tide in the Battle of Geonosis.
In Matthew 1:18-25, we see an angel of the Lord descend into a scene for a rescue. This time, to rescue Joseph and Mary’s relationship and pending marriage.
Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name Immanuel”
(which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.
Leading up to the birth of Jesus, there are a lot of miraculous events taking place. Joseph is well within his rights to separate from Mary, but he intends to do so in an honorable way. I’m sure Joseph, like everyone else, wondered who the real father of Mary’s baby was. “A virgin birth? Sure it was.” Joseph would have understandably had his own doubts. He would have been dealing with hurt as well. Yet when he encounters the angel of the Lord he responds in faith immediately.
We don’t hear about Joseph again after Matthew 2. He makes an appearance in Luke 2 when Jesus is a young boy, but other than that he isn’t present much. Nevertheless, his response to the angel of the Lord was an amazing act of faith. His response was one of many little things that set up the Nativity and changed the course of history.
And the angel of the Lord in Matthew 1? We don’t know who it is Joseph encounters, but whoever it is came to the rescue of more than just Mary and Joseph that night.
I think God always wants to rescue us. There are times I think he hasn’t, but when I look back on it I see how God had been giving me multiple opportunities to be rescued all along. Even when he was being crucified, Jesus was rescuing the criminal next to him. A lot of people “find Jesus” when they hit rock bottom. Sometimes it’s an act, but I think it’s legitimate a lot of the times as well. We can by cynical about it, much like the people surrounding Joseph and Mary might have been about their child, but ultimately it’s how we respond to the rescue opportunity.