This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 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.”
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.
We can see early on in today’s reading that Joseph was an honorable man. He may have felt confused, angry, or even betrayed as Mary revealed her pregnancy, but we can see that Joseph was also loving and compassionate. His desire was not to disgrace Mary, but to quietly step away. Joseph had a plan…but God had something different in mind.
I love that we are able to see how God gave Joseph a glimpse of His plan, offering Joseph a place at the table and a place in the story of God’s great love for us. Joseph could have chosen to continue with his plan to divorce Mary quietly. It was the easier choice by far. Fewer questions…fewer sideways glances…fewer whispers. If we are honest, many of us, given the choice, would have chosen to step away. But Joseph chose to abandon his own plan and say yes to God’s.
Saying yes to God’s plan isn’t always easy. Sometimes it hurts. Sometimes it costs us. Sometimes it doesn’t make sense to the people around us. But there is also beauty and blessing that comes when we say yes and accept God’s invitation to be part of the story He is writing. Is there something God is calling you to, that if you say yes, it will change your life forever? Do the plans you’ve made line up with what God has planned for you? Spend some time today praying about what God is calling you to.