December 19

The Biblical account of the Joseph that was engaged to Mary shows a man struggling deeply.  Having discovered Mary to be pregnant, knowing it wasn’t his child, but also loving her deeply, he struggled.  Matthew 1:19b-20a says, “He decided to call of their engagement quietly.  As he was thinking about this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream.”  Some struggles are such that we think of them whether awake or sleeping, whether we are aware of it or not.  The worry begins to affect every part of our lives.  That’s where Joseph’s mind is when we first meet him.
When Joseph wakes up, he lives into what he believes to be God’s plan after seeing a vision.  He takes Mary for his wife.  He puts someone else’s needs before his own.  Each year I read the story, Joseph makes the same choice.  Of course, two thousand years ago it was recorded that Joseph chose to become, in a word from Genesis, “a helpmate” for Mary, and a daily father to a child to be born that he would treat with the same love as his own.  One of my personal weekly devotionals that I read has chosen to focus on A.A.’s 12 steps for the past couple weeks.  Today it shared these words about step twelve:  the culminating step of a whole and healthy life:  “Helping is a foundation stone of recovery.  A kindly act once in a while isn’t enough…. We have to act the Good Samaritan each day.”  When I say, “each year I read the story, Joseph makes the same choice,” it makes me smile (in the way I smile at corny Dad jokes when I tell them); but, it also reminds me that to live a full and healthy life, we called to choose helping, kindness, and service to others on an everyday basis.
May each of us find a way to help another today.
To take a prayerful step deeper with this devotion, re-read it.  Or, ready Matthew 1:18-25.  Identify a word or two that stands out for you.  Keep going back to that word over and over again today.  Perhaps write the word down.  Watch for where God speaks to you through that word today.
God’s Peace,
 Pastor Roger