Savior Of the Nations, Come!

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”).

Matthew 1:18 – 23

Joseph was caught between the Law and obedience to the angel’s message.

He is a righteous man – well-known in his community as upholding the Law. But now his betrothed is pregnant. No doubt Mary told Joseph of her circumstances – the visit of the angel, the hovering of the Spirit, the confirmation in visiting Elizabeth. Accepting Mary’s story was too much for Joseph – surely she had relations with a man, and now he could no longer marry her. He was conflicted – the law said she should be stoned, but Joseph loved Mary. Having compassion on her, wanting to demonstrate mercy, he decides to divorce her privately. Possibly Joseph could save face in his community with a private divorce, and Mary might be protected from stoning.

Quote by Thomas Merton

But God intervenes, interrupts Joseph’s sleep, sending an angel to confirm Mary’s story, and to provide instruction to Joseph. Now Joseph must decide – will he trust a spiritual reality more than his human understanding. His obedience matters!

Joseph would be the adoptive father of Jesus – the one who would train Him up according to Jewish Law. His obedience to the angel’s instructions was significant.

Our journey of faith matters –
Our obedience matters.

Saying “Yes!” to faith may require us to make brave choices
as God reveals His will in our lives!
Saying “Yes!” to God puts us squarely in God’s redemptive story!

Savior of the nations, come, 
virgin’s Son, make here thy home!
Marvel now, O heaven and earth,
that the Lord chose such a birth.

Not of flesh and blood the Son,
offspring of the Holy One;
born of Mary ever blest,
God in flesh is manifest.

Wondrous birth! O wondrous Child
of the Virgin undefiled!
Though by all the world disowned,
still to be in heaven enthroned.

From the Father forth he came
and returneth to the same,
captive leading death and hell,
high the song of triumph swell!

Thou, the Father’s only Son,
hast over sin the victory won.
Boundless shall thy kingdom be;
when shall we its glories see?

Praise to God the Father sing.
Praise to God the Son, our King.
Praise to God the Spirit be
ever and eternally. 

St. Ambrose, 340 – 397

As you pray today, thank God for inviting you into His grand story. Ask Him to help you listen well, to be obedient to His call in your life. Praise Him for the coming King!

PS If you haven’t listened to Michael Card’s song, Joseph’s Song, now would be a great time to use that song in your personal worship!

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