Monday Morning Devotion-December 20, 2021
Joseph Did You Know?
This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. Matthew 1:18-19
Joseph did you know this baby boy born to your betrothed, Mary the love of your life,
would change the world?
He certainly changed your world!
It must have been a shock when Mary told you she was pregnant since you believed that she was a virgin. Still your love for her was so strong you did not want to hurt her. With the stigma that could be attached to that situation you decided to quietly divorce her but: here comes the angel of the Lord.
"Ðan 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.'"
Wow! Talk about a lot of information to absorb. Just about the time he was making plans to go on a trip. Not one he really wanted to make, but one that he had to make. He had to travel 70 miles from Nazareth to Bethlehem to register to be taxed. Not a pleasant task to begin with and here he had this complicationÐhis wife was pregnant.
It wasn't like he could jump in his car and drive 70 miles. He had to walk. All he had for transportation was a donkey. Ordinarily in those times the man would ride the donkey and the woman would walk. But you couldn't expect a very pregnant lady to walk that far. So, Joseph walked and Mary rode the donkey. Not sure that the donkey ride was very pleasant for her either since she was so far along in her pregnancy. By the way it was a 5-day trip!
Joseph did you know that your married life would begin this way?
Certainly not! But Joseph was a good manÐa righteous man. Apparently, he was the kind of man who, if a girl scout came to the door selling cookies, and he only had one dollar left to last until payday he would buy the cookies.
Joseph did you know there would be no rooms available in Bethlehem?
It's not like Joseph could go on the internet and check out the rooms available in the Bethlehem inns. Totally exhausted they finally arrived in Bethlehem to find that no rooms were available anywhere. Can you just picture the concerned look on Joseph's face? Think about how he felt when time after time he went into an inn while Mary waited outside.
She anxiously looks at the doorway of the inn and then when Joseph appears she can see the slump of his shoulders. His head bowed. His sandals dragging with each step as he comes back and has to tell his wife "No room!" How helpless Joseph must have felt. How afraid his wife must be. Would she have to deliver this baby in the street?
Joseph did you know that a stable with a manger lined with straw to serve as a baby's bed would be a welcome sight to you?
So, the Baby Jesus is born in such a simple unceremonious way. No family there. No friends or neighbors to celebrate with you. The cattle knew!
The cattle are lowing
The Baby awakes
But little Lord Jesus
No Crying He makes! ("Away in a Manger" 1887; James R. Murray)
Joseph did you know what a noisy place an out-of-the-way location could so quickly become?
Soon that modest, undecorated barn was not so quiet anymore. How could that be? They certainly didn't hear about it on radio or see it on television. It seems there were a bunch of angels, called a heavenly host, lighting up the skies and telling a bunch of smelly old shepherds who broke the news:
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them. 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you: he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.
Suddenly, a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace to men on whom his favor rests. (Luke 2:8-14)
Joseph, did you know that such a fuss would be made over one little baby?
Perhaps the most gratifying thing to Joseph was to look across the crib with that tiny baby in it to the love of his life, Mary, who could not take her eyes off that baby. The tired lovely smile on her face made him so happy. He knew that his Heavenly Father would look at him one day and say, "Well done thy good and faithful servant."
Joseph did you know you had just become the legal father of the Savior of the World?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, we wish you another Happy Birthday because You are the reason we have this beautiful story of your birth and life to guide our lives. Amen!