Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do 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 as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:“Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,and they shall name him Emmanuel,”which means, “God is with us.” When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus.
Isn’t this the most magical time of year? Everything about this time is full of wonder. To consider Christ’s conception and birth is a gift from God himself. From God’s hand throughout the ages. Of considering one of the 12 tribes of Israel as the line through which his son would be born. To the selection of a young girl among so many others as the mother of his child. Knowing the thoughts of Joseph, and what a good man and father he would make to bring up his son “in the way he should go”, and yet knowing Joseph’s heart as a just man.
God works in so many ways to bring about wonders. Do you believe in dreams? What better way for the Lord to speak to Joseph than to enter his dreams. Sending his Angel to Joseph. Counseling Joseph in the plans of God. Can you imagine?
We know so little of Joseph from the scriptures. He’s not mentioned other than that he was instrumental in Jesus’ safety in the beginning. That he was a man of the faith of his ancestors and followed it with the passion and commitment. And finally, above all else, he trusted God. He made choices based on how he trusted God. He just knew the angel sent to him in a dream was from God. What is it to have that kind of trust?
Our lives are so chaotic. It would be so nice if God came to us in more of our dreams to guide us in the way we should go. But even so, would we have the faith to trust God to handle our daily calamities? I belong to a Grace Group with three other wonderful women who are a constant source of strength and wisdom for me. We have been studying a small book called “When Christians Get It Wrong” by Adam Hamilton. We finished up the book the other night with the final chapter called “When Christians Get It Right.” One of the final things the video and book both mentioned, and it struck a chord with all of us, was that as we approach people, or circumstances or situations, “What is the most loving thing I can do?” What would God have me do? For the proof of spiritual growth is found in the practice of love.
Heavenly Father, teach me to practice love in every encounter of every day and trust you with every aspect of our lives. Let Your light shine in me that I may reflect that love and in so doing, lead others to that trusting connection we can have with you. Amen.
Written by Fran Baatz