Matthew 1: 20-24
“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.”
In ancient Israel, being engaged carried certain legal obligations and if an engaged couple wanted to nullify the engagement it required a “divorce”. Joseph had considered divorcing Mary, his fiancé, because she was pregnant with a baby that was not his.
God intervened. An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, the first of four dreams in which God communicated with or warned Joseph. After each dream, Joseph awoke and did what God asked him to do.
Joseph was more than a man who was faithful to the law. He was a man of God, who apparently had spent enough time with God to recognize His voice, to believe His visions, and to trust in His word. For Joseph, the word of God was more important than the letter of the law.
Because of his relationship with God, Joseph chose to be part of God’s plan for the salvation of the world rather than conform to the world.
This Christmas season, let’s all choose to be part of God’s plan.
May the love of Christ be with you,
Rev. Eric Lanier (Retired)