But just when he had resolved to do 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 as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” ~ Matthew 1:20-21

Fearless? Faithful? Peaceful? Wow – it’s not clear that anyone in Joseph’s position could be any of those things, especially in those times with very different cultural norms.

Yet the reported actions later in Matthew make it appear that Joseph allayed his fears and was faithful to his marriage promise. How filled with peace he was is likely anyone’s guess, though I’m certain Biblical scholars have opinions <smile>.

Faithfulness is the word Pamela C. Hawkins chooses for this week in her Advent book Prepare the Way. As one exercise she encourages us to write a brief prayer “to help you grow in trust and love of God.” Maybe you’ll want to try out your own?

PRAYER: Emmanuel, strengthen my resolve this season and in the years ahead, that I might be peace-filled, fearless and faithful. Amen

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit!

Lectionary Texts for Sunday, December 22, 2019:

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