TODAY'S VERSES: (from Matthew 1:18-24) "(Joseph) did exactly what God's angel commanded in the dream: he married Mary."
WHAT TO THINK ABOUT: I love the way the story is told in The Message so much, I'm just going to copy it right here for you:
"The birth of Jesus took place like this. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. Before they came to the marriage bed, Joseph discovered she was pregnant. (It was by the Holy Spirit, but he didn't know that.) Joseph, chagrined (which means disappointed and embarrassed) but noble, determined to take care of things quietly so Mary would not be disgraced.
"While he was trying to figure a way out, he had a dream. God's angel spoke in the dream: 'Joseph, son of David, don't hesitate to get married. Mary's pregnancy is Spirit-conceived. God's Holy Spirit has made her pregnant. She will bring a son to birth, and when she does, you, Joseph, will name him Jesus - God saves - because he will save his people from their sins.' This would bring the Prophet's sermon to full term:
Watch for this -- a virgin will get pregnant and bear a son;
They will name him Immanuel (Hebrew for 'God is with us.')
"Then Joseph woke up. He did exactly what God's angel commanded in the dream: He married Mary.'"
We Christians don't talk about it much, but Joseph is as brave as Mary in this situation. It takes a lot of courage for him to go ahead and marry Mary. In other people's eyes, she's a liar and a cheat, so taking her as a wife makes him look like an idiot. By law, she could actually be stoned to death for being pregnant without a husband, that's how bad it looks, but Joseph has the guts to believe God instead of people.
We think of soldiers and policemen and firefighters as being brave, but what Joseph did is right up there with pulling somebody out of a burning building or going into battle.
WHAT TO DO WITH THAT: You have courage too. You often do the God-thing instead of the popular thing or the thing that's going to keep you from looking like a moron. You come to this blog and get involved in the activities and try to learn from what goes on here -- when you could be playing a game on your computer or emailing your friends or hanging out on a blog that's all about clothes and music and maybe even gossip.
Is there another way you could be showing Joseph's kind of courage right now? I'll give you an example. It probably seems silly to some people that I don't write the kind of books that would sell a bajillion copies and make me a bunch of money. There isn't anything wrong with writing Amish fiction or Christian romances, just as there wouldn't have been anything wrong with Joseph not marrying Mary. But it's wrong for me because that isn't what I'm called by God to do. I have to have a little bit of courage to keep at it, trusting that I'll have everything I need because I'm being obedient.
What's your example? Do you need to be brave enough to say, "I can't go to your sleepover on a Saturday night because I have to be awake early to go to church Sunday"? Or to ask for a tutor so you can make better than a C in math, even though a C is "okay." Or to stand up for a kid who's being bullied, even though nobody would blame you if you didn't because you might lose some friends or get bullied yourself? Can you work up some Joseph courage? God'll help since, um, God put you in that situation in the first place.
And what will you put in your square for December 9? I'm thinking a tiny pic of Joseph from an old Christmas card. WHat are YOU thinking?