Plan or no plan, from Joseph's perspective, the incarnation was one big life complication. God is telling Joseph to love, in spite of all the reasons not to love. God is telling Joseph to forgive Mary when he has every right to forget her. God is telling Joseph to welcome her child even though that child will complicate his life immensely. So, we know what God is telling Joseph, but are we ready for what Joseph is telling us?
Enter John the Baptist. He appears in the wilderness, in the Palestinian version of the Prairie of Prax, to preach to a bunch of North-going and South-going Zax. And all that he has to say to us can be summed up in one word: "Repent!" Literally, turn around! Change direction! You're going the wrong way. Listen to me. I'm here to prepare the way.
Good or bad, we all have memories we go back to at this time of year, and we have a hard time appreciating the Scripture readings for the first Sunday in Advent. That's because they don't let us look back. They force us to look forward. When we we'd rather reminisce about the first coming of Christ, we have to hear about the Second Coming.