Day 18: The Faith of Mary and Joseph
Scripture to meditate on: Matthew 2:19-23 Anna’s Devotion
After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.”
So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets, that he would be called a Nazarene.
Joseph seems like an upstanding guy who wanted to live a regular life. Work, have a family, maybe look to the future. He got engaged to a godly girl, and things looked good. Matthew describes him as “righteous;” so, we know that he cared about following the Lord. What he couldn’t anticipate was that God had big plans for his life.
When Joseph found out that Mary, his fiancée, had become pregnant, he was going to break the engagement quietly so as not to expose her to public disgrace. An understandable reaction to the news. However, God intervened and made clear to him that he needed to take Mary as his wife and to name the child Jesus “because he will save his people from their sins.” Joseph listened to God and did what he wanted him to do.
Once Jesus was born, the challenges to Joseph’s life did not stop. Even so, God took care of him and effectively led him by the hand. Importantly, Joseph listened to God and allowed himself to be guided by the Lord even though he felt fear. In the midst of danger and violence, God provided for him and his family. Events that seem daunting and overwhelming could not stop God’s plans. And God definitely had a plan.
When the time arrived that was set by God the Father, some translations say, “in the fullness of time” (Galatians 4:4), he sent his son Jesus into the world and set in motion his plan to redeem all humanity.
When God executes a plan, nothing can get in the way. Not you. Not me. Our church community recently looked at Job who responded to God by saying, “ I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted.” Joseph probably could not see or understand all that God was doing; what he could do was to take steps of faith one at a time. And that’s what he did.
As enormous and sweeping as God’s plans might be — or as small and gentle, he uses regular people to bring them to fruition. I want to listen to God in his word and in his teachings; I pray to be available and faithful like Joseph to allow the Lord to use me as part of whatever plan he might have.
Questions to ponder:
- What does this passage say about God?
- What does this passage say about me or my relationships?
- What should I do in light of this passage?