Good day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well!
Readings for Dec 22: Fourth Sunday in Advent
Isaiah 7:10–17; Psalm 24; Romans 1:1–7; Matthew 1:18–25
But after [Joseph] had considered [divorce], 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.” Matthew 1:20
Do you have a burden you’re carrying? Are you at the end of your rope? Are you looking for a solution to a problem? Is something putting a damper on your Christmas? On your life? If so, may you be encouraged by Joseph’s situation and outcome.
Think about it. The story of the coming of Christ was not filled with excitement and rejoicing for those initially involved. In fact it was anything but that. Mary was seemingly pregnant and not by her husband. Joseph was engaged to an adulterous, as far as any human mind could comprehend. He had a problem, and it wasn’t a little thing.
In human eyes, the situation was not good. Joseph needed to do something. He was not going to marry an adulterer. According to Jewish law he had the right to divorce Mary and actually have her stoned. The futures of Joseph, Mary and the baby were going to be determined by Joseph’s decision. Yet, it wasn’t just Joseph’s decision. God was very much part of the story. He had a plan for Joseph, Mary and Jesus, and he had the solution for Joseph. Joseph just needed to listen, trust, and obey what he was told. And thankfully he did.
God, too, has a plan for you. This baby Jesus, whose birth we will be celebrating in just a few days, was born for you. His life and sacrificial death which paid the penalty for humankind’s sin, was for you and the payment for your sin. And his resurrection and life eternal is your life eternal, as well. He did it all for you, and he desires to be part of the solution to your problems today. Go to the Lord, lay your request before him and trust him to walk with you. Listen to what he says to you in his word, and to what he’s saying to you in your heart or even in your dreams, like Joseph. Then trust and obey. It may not be an easy road, as I am sure, Joseph’s wasn’t either, at first. But know it is the best decision for all involved. Stand firm and faithful to your God and he will direct you in all your ways, even as he did with Joseph.
Prayer: Dear Lord, at times my problems seem so big, but they’re not too big for you. Today I lift them up to you. Help me to honestly listen to what you would have me do. Please give me the strength to trust you and the courage to obey you. Instead of worrying, help me to take the time this Christmas season to rejoice in the coming of your son, my Saviour, Jesus. Glory to God in the highest and Peace to us all! In Jesus name I pray. AMEN!