Wednesday Word 12.21.2016
18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit.19 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. 20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). 24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
We don’t know a great deal about Joseph. He was a carpenter. He must have been a man of great faith. Not only did he follow the instruction of the angel who advised him, but we can assume that he not only allowed but encouraged religious study for the Son who was to come. We know that the family was financially secure enough to travel to The Temple every year for the celebration of Passover, along with their friends and family (Luke 2:41-52). Remember the story? Their party was so large, that it was three days before they realized that Jesus had stayed behind and was found back at The Temple with the teachers. But we don’t know a whole lot more about Joseph. Yet, if it wasn’t for Joseph, the story of Jesus might have taken a decidedly different twist in the early days. As in so many instances throughout the Scriptures, an ordinary man was called upon to do something extraordinary. Do you ever think about what it would have been like to be in his shoes? Or in Mary’s? God called on ordinary people to live out his will all the time. Guess what? He still does.
Joseph had a choice. We have choices every day. God wants us, ordinary people, to live out his will when we make those choices. The tasks set before us may seem insignificant by comparison, but I believe that our actions have consequences far beyond our understanding. We may not see the ripples that our behavior sets into motion, but they are real. How wonderful to be a part of God’s plan! They may not sing songs about us someday or repeat the story every December, but we are a part of the whole design. Your part has meaning whether you see it or not. We need to be more like Joseph. We need to answer “yes” to the will of God…something to pray about.
Your sister in Christ,