“But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 1:20
Besides Jesus, there is a lot of attention paid to Mary during the Christmas season. This is rightly so. However, I found myself more intrigued by Joseph this year – in particular, by his trust and faith in the Lord and in His plan. (Because, let’s be honest, I seriously doubt that Joseph’s plan was to marry a virgin who was pregnant with the Son of God.)
Joseph was a man of God and He remembered the words of the prophets, taking to heart the words of Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you”. Joseph’s trusting in God’s plan and having complete faith did not just affect him, but would affect all of us over 2000 years later.
God’s plan for Joseph involved finding out that his virgin wife is pregnant. Scripture doesn’t say Joseph was angry when Mary told him about the pregnancy. In fact, it alludes to more of his love for her. He wanted to protect her and to keep her from being stoned by divorcing her quietly. He doesn’t walk out, he takes time to pray over these things. It is while he is doing this that the angel comes to speak to him. He didn’t question the angel. His faith was strong, along with his trust in the Lord’s plan. Talk about faith! The angel reminds him of the words of the prophets:
“All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name Immanuel” (Matthew 1:22-23)
Joseph’s story is one of faith and trust, not in himself, not in Mary, but in God’s plan for his life. Walking in faith as Joseph did is something we can all aspire to do. This Advent season, I pray that we will also remember this incredible part of the most miraculous story.
It is said that “faith comes by hearing and hearing through the word of Christ.” We have to stay in the Word to stay strong in the faith. With all the busyness of this season, it is easy to let this important time in the Word get away from us. My prayer is that we continue to be diligent in our “hearing.”