Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Mary and Joseph – A Story of Love and Trust

And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. "She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins."
Matthew 1:19-21
The story of Mary and Joseph is one which most of us are familiar.  Theirs is a love story not only for each other but also of their love for God.  They both found themselves, separately but together, in a tough spot.  Or so it would appear.  They actually were right smack in the middle of God’s great plan for our salvation.  They were key to the whole big picture. 

Mary was a young, godly woman who was engaged to be married to Joseph.  Suddenly she found herself with child – from the Holy Spirit.

And coming in, he said to her, "Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you." But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was. The angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. "And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. "He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end."  Luke 1:28-33

How on earth was she going to explain this to her fiancĂ© and what would his reaction be?  She knew that he and she both were in danger of being publically disgraced by people who would never believe her story. But what about Joseph?  In that day he had every right to break the betrothal.  This is exactly what he was considering – divorce her quietly and in secret so that she would not be stoned, which was what the law called for.  He could marry her, and be socially disgraced, rejected and scorned.  He would be accused of fathering a child out of wedlock.  But behold, then came the Angel of the Lord in a dream to calm his fears.  The angel told Joseph that what Mary had said was true and to believe her, and take her as his wife.  The angel also said that Mary would bear a son who will save his people from their sins. 

The next day, Joseph went to Mary’s father’s house to tell her that he believed her and still wanted to marry her.  He told her that they would be together in this adventure of raising this boy to be faithful and obedient.  Joseph and Mary were married and became parents to the Son of God; an honor like no other.  How amazing would it be to be chosen like that for such a great task? 

One important principle this love story is laced with is trust.  It started with Mary and whether or not she was going to trust God to smooth out all the problems she would encounter.  There was also the issue of trust between Mary and Joseph.  Trust is hard for many marriages that don’t start out like this one.  Joseph decided he would trust Mary and God, and likewise Mary decided to trust Joseph and God.  Joseph, as her husband, was acting in her best interest and taking direction straight from the Lord.  Mary trusted Joseph to do the right thing.   Mary and Joseph together were trusting God. 
Many times this is exactly how God works.  Just when we are at the end of our options and none of them are good, God opens another door for us that leads to a surprising change of direction.  Confidence and trust in God will give us the courage to step through that door, just like Joseph did.

Scripture to Claim:
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.   Luke 1:38 NIV

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