Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Matthew 1:21 “She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

We don’t really know much about Joseph.  As I sat this morning I tried to imagine what this time was like for him.  He had established himself and was ready to take a wife.  Mary, a young maiden, would be his wife and they were both making preparations for that.  Then Joseph finds out she is with child so he decides to “dismiss her quietly” according to verse 19.  God steps in and sends an angel to speak to Joseph in a dream.  History is written as it is because Joseph listened to the message in the dream and followed the instruction he received.  How would our lives be different if we were as open to listening and following as Joseph?  Scripture says he was a righteous man.  He followed the laws given so long ago but he followed more than just the law.  His faith in God went deeper than going through the steps simply because it was the law.  He was open to listening and following through guidance not written in a book of rules.  I know I am on a path that I cannot see much beyond where I am.  Where am I being led, what is in store for me?  I would not be a bit surprised if Joseph was asking those very questions as he took Mary as his wife.  God is faithful.  Just as he guided Joseph and Mary, he guides us.  Do we hear him?  Do we listen and follow in trust, as Joseph did?

It is easy to follow when the path seems clear.  When you ask us to do something out of the ordinary we often balk.  Give us the courage we need to follow you even when we cannot see the path you lead us on.  Just as you guided Joseph and Mary, guide us too.  Open our hearts to the everlasting love you sent in the form of a babe, lying in manger.  Amen.