18 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. 19 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.
20 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.
The Bible tells us Joseph was a God-honoring man who is engaged to Mary—which in those times was as legally binding as marriage is today. Joseph surely had hopes and dreams for the life he and Mary were about to begin. Then one day Joseph learns that Mary is pregnant. Joseph desired to love and honor God when faced with an overwhelming and difficult situation. He thought he knew what was best, but God took him in another direction. God sent an angel to tell Joseph not to be afraid to love Mary and to take her as his wife as he had planned. Although, nearly everyone around them would think it was wrong. It wasn’t going to be an easy life, but in the face of fear, they chose to love God above all else. “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear…” 1 John 4:18a.
Throughout the Advent readings over the past few weeks, you have heard about people whose lives were changed by the birth of Jesus. His birth story spread far and wide and is told around the world still today. Take some time as a family to look back at those baby pictures from before or revisit the birth story or adoption story for each member of your family.
PRAY ABOUT IT!
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your perfect love. When we are afraid or we don’t know why things aren’t going the way we expected, help us remember that You have a plan for our life. Amen.