Dec 19 2012

Wrestled With Angels: The Courage of Joseph

Original post at http://wrestledwithangels.wordpress.com/2012/12/19/the-courage-of-joseph/

Matthew 1: 18 – 25

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. 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.

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. 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.”

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).

When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

Has your life turned out differently than you imagined? Have you been encouraged or discouraged by the direction that your life has taken? Imagine you are Joseph. His soon-to-be-wife turns out to be pregnant. He knows that he is not the father. The whole village recognizes the change in her appearance. To make matters worse, she claims the pregnancy is a result of God. Out of respect (or love), he decides to dismiss her quietly. What does it mean to dismiss “quietly?” Drop her off in another village? Refuse to make it a legal matter? Or walk away and let the response be between Mary, the community, and God?

The house in the village with children playing in the front while building the furniture business seems less and less a reality now. His dreams of the “perfect” life is turning into a nightmare. Then, as if, matters could not get any worse, he has a dream. God tells Joseph indeed your wife has conceived by the Holy Spirit and she will give birth to a son who will be the savior of his people. So, don’t be afraid to take her as your wife, the Lord tells Joseph. He listens and takes her as his wife.

Not many of us can say that life has turned out exactly as we planned. There have been detours. The paths we have taken have not always taken us to the expected destination.

Joseph was forced to make a decision to accept a new direction for his life or continue down the one that he had planned. The decision came down to what was he going to do with the news of his wife’s pregnancy and God’s dream. He was being forced to either accept God’s dream for his life or ignore the dream. The same can be said for us. Do we choose to wrap God around our dreams or do we wrap ourselves around God’s dream for us? Are God’s dreams worth following? Ask Joseph!

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