“Do not be afraid, Joseph.”
Wednesday, December 8, 2021 by Barbara
A Fearless Christmas, #2
In the week since my last blog post, a Michigan teen killed four classmates, tension increased along the Russian-Ukraine border, and several dozen cases of the Omicron strain were identified in the United States. One shot, one border crossing, one infected person impacts countless lives.
Joseph had one decision to make. He was leaning toward the most civil choice, divorcing Mary quietly rather than having her stoned, as was permitted by the laws of the day. And then… an angel appeared with a third option—one that would impact the world from then to eternity. We read about it in Matthew 1:19-21.
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.
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. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
Joseph heard a message that sounded radical, perhaps irrational, and definitely inexplicable, but he was told to not fear. Do not fear an illogical choice. Do not fear what you can’t comprehend. Do not fear what people will think. Do not fear your inadequacy. Do not fear committing to a path God indicates—when He is in it, it is good.
Joseph did not have the advantage of our hindsight but by faith committed himself to an act that didn’t make sense.
When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife (verse 24).
The Holy Spirit speaks to us, “Do not be afraid, Joseph”—or Brenda, John, Sally, or whoever you are. Mary submitted, Joseph committed, and we have the same choice. We can follow sense and safety or step out and follow God on paths we don’t understand. What will He do with lives committed to follow Him?
Image compliments of Seeds of Faith, Concordia Publishing House.
Katie Sweeting From Jersey City At 12/9/2021 7:47:34 AMThanks for this timely word, Barbara. Following God on challenging, difficult, scary paths is never easy, but the rewards are great! Have a blessed Christmas with your family. Katie
Reply by: Barbara Higby AuthorAmen, Katie. Christmas blessings to you & your family.
Debby Bellingham From Milton, NY At 12/9/2021 6:19:49 AMThis is the irrational season? When love blooms bright and wild.? Had Mary been filled with reason ?There'd have been no room for the child.? (Madeline L’Engle, "After Annunciation", WEATHER OF THE HEART)
Reply by: Barbara Higby AuthorThank you, Debby, she said it well! Blessings to you & Jack.
“Do not be afraid.”
“Do not be afraid, Shepherd.”
“Do not be afraid, Joseph.”
“Do not be afraid, Mary.”