Sunday, December 18, 2011

Today's Advent Passage: Matthew 1:20-21

Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 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. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." 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" (which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus. (Matthew 1:18-25 ESV)

I would have to place Joseph's dream high on my list of top significant dreams in the history of the world.

Joseph, we are told, was a righteous man who wanted to do the right thing. Legally bound to marry a young girl named Mary, her pregnancy would have been reason for her to be subject to public shame. Yet Joseph didn't want to shame her - in fact, he was trying to make the divorce as quiet as possible.

But he considered things - he turned them over in his mind - and God gave him an answer in a dream. An angel of the Lord spoke into the situation and brought clarity, peace, and direction. And Joseph listened.

What a beautiful example of surrender. We don't have to understand all the whys and hows and wherefores. We don't have to have every question answered. We simply have to know that we've heard from the Lord.

This Advent season, commit anew to considering your problems in the context of relationship to God. Stay in prayer and in the Word of God, and let Him bring clarity, peace, and direction to your circumstances. Then surrender.

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