December 28, 2017

Joseph, Son of David

Matthew 1:18-25

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.

—  Matthew 1:20

Like Mary, Joseph had a visit from an angel. Like Mary, Joseph obeyed the angel’s message. And, like Mary, his life was turned upside down.

Joseph’s life was that of a village craftsman. Income wasn’t always certain; business could be precarious. Joseph didn’t need adventures and long-distance trips; he needed a good steady stream of work.

But as Joseph followed God’s direction, the adventures began. First he had to endure disapproving looks and remarks from neighbors and family members over the scandal of Mary’s pregnancy. Then there was the trip to Bethlehem, never easy but certainly made more difficult as Mary was about to give birth. And because they had no place to stay, she gave birth to baby Jesus in a stable. Then shepherds came telling about a visit by angels, and, later, astrologers from foreign lands came to honor Jesus as a new king. Then Joseph had to run with Mary and Jesus to Egypt to escape King Herod’s slaughter of baby boys (Matthew 2).

This wasn’t what Joseph had figured on when he had pledged himself to Mary. But when Jesus enters our life, we can expect things to be different. Our lives can be turned upside down as he takes us on adventures—­especially on the biggest adventure of all: life with him in the kingdom of God.

Lord and Savior, we know that your promises are true. Guide us to serve and honor you, wherever you call us to go. Amen.

About the author — Thea Leunk

Thea Nyhoff Leunk has been a high school English teacher, a director of Christian education, a pastor of discipleship, and a regional coach for the Christian Reformed Church in North America. She is currently the senior pastor at Eastern Avenue Christian Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Thea has also written courses for teens and young adults on world religions, Christian faith traditions, and science and the Bible. She and her husband have three adult children.

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