Friday: December 20           

Matthew 1:18-25

            Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly.

             But just when he had resolved to do 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 as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

             All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us.”

             When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus.


from Sarah Webb, Wheeling

            All Joseph needed was a green light.  In the beginning of this brief passage, he was being so careful.  He was a kind man and faithful to the law.  He was looking for the quietest and least damaging way to deal with Mary’s unexplained pregnancy.  But in the dead of night, when angels and our souls speak to us in dreams, Joseph got the green light.  Go for it.  This was not the old story he had been living.  God was asking for something new.              When Joseph woke up, he responded with a resounding, Yes!  He had no way of knowing what this decision would cost him or what his life would look like.  He partnered with the Unknown, which is where God and mystery have a chance to remake us.

            When life beckons, can we go where we haven’t gone before? 


God of mystery and wonder,

help us to surrender to the sacred unknown

that our lives might move forward in courageous ways.


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