Joseph was a man who always did what was right, but he not want to disgrace Mary publicly; so he made plans to break off the engagement privately. While he was thinking about this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph, descendant of David, do not be afraid to take Mary to be your wife. For it is by the Holy Spirit that she has conceived. She will have a son, and you will name him Jesus—because he will save his people from their sins.’ (verses 19-21)
Read Matthew 1:18-25
What do you do when you have an important decision to make? Lose sleep over it, let it occupy your thoughts day and night, become distracted so that you can think of nothing else?
Poor Joseph. What a decision he had to make! His fiancée was pregnant and the child wasn’t his. A dilemma for any man, but especially for one ‘who always did what was right’. Under Jewish law, Joseph would have been doing what was right to publicly divorce Mary. He opted to make little public fuss, planning, rather, to quietly end the engagement. It was at the time when he was thinking about this that an angel appeared and directed him as to the course he should take. What an intervention! And the rest, as they say, is history.
There will always be important decisions to make in your life. Take some clues from Joseph: look to do what is right, look to do what is caring, and take the time to think and to be open to God’s direction. For the God who directed the course of history through the birth of Jesus is also the one who directs your course through life.
Free my mind, Lord, to hear you speaking. Open my ears that I may listen to your voice. Amen.
by Anne Maczkowiack, in ‘Renewed Hope for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 2000)
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