The picture is getting clearer. Joseph is betrothed to Mary. He is a just man. He does not want to break Jewish rules by taking Mary home without going by the customs and traditions of the Jewish people. He knows Mary is a fine woman, born and raised in the Jewish culture. She will not play any games with Joseph. Therefore, they both stay apart waiting for that day when their marriage will be recognized, and then consummated.
The drama becomes tense. An archangel visits Joseph and tells him not to be afraid. The archangel tells him to take Mary home because she will conceive and give birth to a child. This child will be born through the power of the Holy Spirit. Can anybody see the misery of Joseph? Is he to obey the Jewish culture or take Mary home as commanded by the archangel in his dream? The pains of Joseph are greater than those of because he could be killed for violating the culture in which they both live. Mary will have her pains too; pains far greater than what Joseph experiences.
The message of the archangel contains a few expectations among the Jewish people. Joseph knows what the culture says about marriage. He also knows that his people expect a Messiah, a savior who will redeem the people of Israel from their sorrows. The archangel says to him, "a virgin shall bring forth a child, and he shall be called Emmanuel, a name which means 'God is with us.'" Joseph wakes up and meditates about what he just dreamt. He discovers that Mary is the virgin appointed by heaven. He is chosen to participate with her in guiding that Child in the world. Joseph begins to act. He takes Mary home as his wife.
Did you notice how heaven interfered in the affairs of Joseph and Mary? Did you know that the interference was to bring a message to the world? There could be pain in the hearts of Mary and Joseph, but they are accepting a higher role in this drama. It is a distorted story with a happy ending. Heaven determined the urgency of Joseph's participation in this drama. He broke traditions and took Mary home, and yet he did not violate her dignity as a woman. Both realize the necessity to obey heaven and to also respect their Jewish roots. Mary and Joseph represent the dawn of a new hope that dwells on obeying God rather than waiting to fulfill a human regulation.
When Joseph took Mary home, he knew that the burden of providing for the child and the mother was not his sole responsibility. At this stage, heaven took over the responsibilities of managing his household because he obeyed without any doubt. Joseph did not object to the interruptions of heaven. When heaven speaks, everybody should listen carefully for God speaks to mankind in mysterious ways. In this case, God will speak to us using his son, born of Mary and Joseph as guardians.
Does this story resonate with you? How many times have you been in a hurry to satisfy the desires of your heart without listening to what God says to you? Can you act like Joseph or Mary when He whispers to you? Can you pay attention to what heaven intends for you and your family? God chooses men and women who are humble and simple to reveal a message to the strong and influential that change is from above not below: inspirational.
Are you taking Mary home today? Will you go with Joseph now? This simply means that you allow God to inspire your heart towards future undertakings bigger than you. The world may condemn you today, but heaven will sustain you forever. The beginning of your success is listening to your heart where God dwells. The glory of Christmas is that Mary and Joseph obeyed God from the heart, and we are here to acknowledge Jesus as our Savior. Whether you take Mary home or say yes to Joseph, the picture is not only clear, it is all brighter. Are you taking Mary home as Joseph did? Is the picture clear and brighter? Keep praying!BACK TO LIST