Friday, March 20, 2015

God is With Us

This was meant to post yesterday!

Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. 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." All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
"Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall name him Emmanuel,"
which means, "God is with us." When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus. Matthew 1:18-25 
When our daughters were small, they loved being read to by their father. They truly loved doing everything with their Daddy, since Mark was a great Dad and still is. I loved to watch them interact, their laughter and the banter, the ideas and conversations that flow. He knows how to draw them out and always knew how to help them be their authentic selves. He is a father and a treasure and we all know it.
Joseph has his doubts about the situation he was in with Mary. He was scared for good reason. The community would shun and abuse them, never believe them and make life miserable. He wanted to be faithful but had his own anxieties and worries.Knowing his anxieties God sent an angel to give him courage and strength for the days ahead. After the angelic encounter, Joseph was able to move ahead and be strong through challenging times - times even he could not imagine.

We all need times when we are brought courage and strength for the days ahead. Sometimes we need a word of support from a friend or from family. We might not recognize those moments as angelic visitations, but certainly, we know when we have been strengthened for the journey, when we are ready to face what we can't even imagine. God sends us those moments and those people to provide for the road ahead.

Today I ask God to strengthen me for the road ahead. There is much to do and many challenges await all of us who attempt to be faithful. Our faith is a gift from God, so may we be encouraged that there will be sent angels and messengers to help us on our way today.

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