Experience Christmas is a 19-day devotional series based on the Scriptural narrative and aimed at creating space during a beautiful, but hectic time of year to wonder at the miracle of Christmas. You’re joining us on day eight, with music from Rascal Flatts and a devotional exploring God’s design for Joseph in this most holy family.
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I imagine Mary’s ride back to Nazareth ending far too soon. She has spent the last three months in the safe place of Elizabeth and Zechariah’s care, learning and preparing for the days ahead. She knows who she is, and is confident in the life God has called her to, but on this particular day she has a very hard thing to do. Joseph, her fiancé, is still unaware of the Child that she carries, and by now she may be showing.
How do you begin the kind of conversation that will deeply wound your beloved?
How do you propose that logic and common sense are now overruled by the supernatural in your body?
How do you explain that you are pregnant with the Child of God?
I wish we could overhear the conversation that took place between them. Joseph’s shock and anger, giving way to the pain of betrayal. Mary’s quiet and determined faith, all while pleading with God to speak to Joseph in a way he could hear and understand.
Joseph is caught between the very hard place of his conviction, which demands justice, and his compassion, which begs mercy. Accepting Mary’s child assumes his own wrongdoing; rejecting her is synonymous to her end. The only way he can think to honor both conviction and compassion is to quietly divorce her.
Holy. Omnipotent. Omniscient. Omnipresent. God.
Appears to Joseph in a dream, speaks peace to his fears, and calls him to this Messianic adventure with Mary.
It was by God’s design that Jesus have both mother and father to care for Him on earth. As God chose Mary, He also chose Joseph. Not by default, because of his relationship with Mary, or by merit, as if Joseph were somehow more qualified or capable than anyone else. God chose Joseph because of his character and devotion to the Lord. As a man of conviction, discernment, and obedience, Joseph was also a servant willing to accept the very specific plan of God for his life.
A pregnant fiancé and her Child.
A future with insurmountable uncertainty.
The responsibility and headship of running a most unusual home – the home that would welcome Christ into the world.
Even when it’s hard to find. Even when it is surprising and unexpected. God still designs specific plans and purposes for lives.
Both yours and mine.
- What do you feel God has chosen you to do with your life? Who has He called you to become?
- What might be keeping you from embracing all God has for you?
- Where can you step out in faith and confidence to embrace God’s plan for your life?
Ask God to show you the plans He has for your life, and the confidence to walk in them.
Jesus thank you that you have a specific plan for each of our lives and that your purpose for us is good. God show us how we can walk in obedience and fully embrace the life you have for us – uncertainty and all.
For a complete list of devotional posts visit the Experience Christmas series page. Sign up to receive posts directly via email by completing the online subscription form and join in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter by using the hashtag #ExperienceChristmasDevotional.