I have been learning a lesson these past few weeks. I have learned that I need to be faithful to God no matter what happens in the world. In spite of financial worries, in spite of fears for our economy, in spite of the frustration we have experienced with our 10-2 Grow e-mails, in spite of the depression that threatens when area teens and people I have known die unexpectedly – and so close to the holidays – still I must trust in God and obey His commands. I must be faithful to my heavenly Father no matter what.
I must be faithful because my heavenly, everlasting Father is faithful to me.
It is interesting that the Christmas story that we are so familiar with, that we have seen acted out by young and old alike in our churches, is presented only in Matthew and in Luke. It is in Matthew that we see the dilemma that Joseph faced, the fears of his impending marriage to a woman who is pregnant. In Matthew we see the angel visiting Joseph, giving guidance and reassurance.
In Luke the focus is on Mary. In Luke Mary is visited by the angel. In Luke Mary’s cousin Elizabeth is also pregnant.
The first real encounter we have with Joseph in the Book of Luke is in this passage, the beginning of the second chapter. We are presented with the reasons that Joseph and Mary had to go to Bethlehem and why the baby was placed in a manger. We see the genealogical connection to the house and line of David.
But to me, the key verse is verse 5. “He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.”
Joseph carried through with his duties, his responsibilities, his obligations. He registered along with the woman to whom he was not yet married and who was with child. If we do not read Matthew’s story then we would have no idea that angels had guided Joseph.
But in this simple statement we see Joseph being faithful. His bride to be is already with child, yet he registers with her and marries her. He carries through with his pledge regardless of what was happening, in spite of the pregnancy and the strain of the census. He was acting as a faithful and loving father.
And this can be a reminder to us all that our heavenly Father is faithful and loving. This can be a reminder to us that the baby Joseph raised is also the everlasting Father to each of us. He gives us love, and he is eternally faithful.
Let us follow the examples of Joseph and Jesus. Let us be faithful too. And let us never forget the love of our everlasting Father, Jesus.
DAILY CHALLENGE: How does the everlasting Father show you His faithfulness?