18 This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. 19 Joseph, to whom she was engaged, was a righteous man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly.
20 As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
22 All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet:
23 “Look! The virgin will conceive a child!
She will give birth to a son,
and they will call him Immanuel,
which means ‘God is with us.’”
24 When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife. 25 But he did not have sexual relations with her until her son was born. And Joseph named him Jesus.
Dear God, I heard someone ask another person in an interview recently, “If you were to find out that there was reincarnation and you learned that in a previous life you were someone famous from history, who would you want it to be?” Now, I absolutely do NOT believe in reincarnation so I’m not going there with this question, but if I could be someone in history, who would it be? Frankly, there’s no one, but I think one of the greatest men who ever lived is right here in this story. Joseph is THE man. And it starts with verse 19. Before there was an angel visit, there was Joseph’s sacrificial decision. In the midst of his hurt and feelings of betrayal, his fear and concern for his own future and survival, he decided to divorce her quietly so she would not be disgraced publicly. He continues to make remarkable decisions, but it all starts with this one. If he had done anything else–if he had shamed her publicly–it could have derailed your entire plan for Jesus.
What decisions am I willing to make though it might cost me dearly? For whom am I willing to sacrifice? I was talking with someone yesterday about pain that I carry all of the time. My hopes and my prayers for different loved ones. My leaning into the idea that maybe this is the path you have for them to walk to get them where you need them to be. Maybe you are using this at the same time to shape me and form me into the man you need me to be. To be clear, I don’t think I’ve ever been asked to make anywhere near the sacrifice Joseph was asked to make–either explicitly by the angel or instinctively by his own heart. But whatever sacrifices I need to make, I want to do them with peace and acceptance. Maybe not joy. Joy doesn’t have to be part of it. It doesn’t have to make me feel good to do the right thing. But I can be at peace in you.
Father, you are my supply. I don’t want to take my eyes off of this moment. I don’t want to dwell on the past. I don’t want to be distracted by an unreal and unknown future. I just want to live in this moment. In this moment. I give you this moment. Show me was to do in the next.
I pray this all in your name,