“When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him….” Matthew 1:24
Joseph. He’s often overlooked in the Christmas story, isn’t he? Just a guy in a bathrobe during the annual church play who seldom has speaking parts. Mary is usually a bit more memorable.
But where would she be without Joseph? It’s easy to forget how his faithfulness affected his family. Read Matthew 1:18-25 and think about it.
What would have happened to Mary if Joseph had not been merciful? At best, she would have been lonely on the path that lay before her. At worst, she would have been stoned.
Mary’s young life had been interrupted in a big way, but so had his. Do you think Joseph had ever dreamed of facing a future like this one? It must have been hard to see his plans falling apart when he heard the news of Mary’s pregnancy.
His dreams were probably dashed to pieces, but God gave him new ones.
The angel of the Lord appeared to him and gave him purpose. He addressed his fears and assured his future. Again and again, God used dreams to direct him, providing wisdom and protection when Joseph needed them most.
You see, at first, Joseph may have thought Mary’s pregnancy was a terrible thing, but God told him the truth.
Think of another Joseph with dreams for a moment and see the way God works. Joseph had been sold into slavery by his brothers, but he forgave them and said, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” (Genesis 50:20)
Mary’s Joseph could say the same because this problem he faced had the same purpose. Salvation.
Worship: As a family, discuss how Joseph must have felt. Was he afraid? Do you think he was angry? Stop and thank God for Joseph’s kindness and for his faith to follow God in spite of his fear. Listen to Hillsong’s “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)” and ask God to give you faith like Joseph’s, faith to follow.
Family Focus: Discuss things in the life of your family that could have been “bad,” but God used for good. How has he turned problems into a purpose for you?