Daily Devotions
 

We are thrilled to once again be sharing a daily devotion with you for the season of Advent. These inspiring devotions have been written by YOU the members of Good Shepherd.  A sincere “thank you” to everyone who opened their hearts to share a small piece of their faith journey with us.   As we journey toward Bethlehem in this season, take time each day to walk with God and experience the stirrings of the deep love that took on flesh to walk with us.  

During the four week Advent season, each Wednesday our devotion will be a video reflection by Dr. Kevin Seal, Director of Worship and Music at Good Shepherd, as he shares a teaching about the Words and Music of Advent.

Each new day’s devotion will go live directly on our webpage, goodshepherd.com at 6am, (look under the worship tab at the top right of the front page) or you can follow the link that will be sent out later each morning in an email from Good Shepherd.  


Daily Devotion
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Daily Devotion

So far in our Advent devotions we have focused on preparing our hands, homes and hearts for the coming of Christ.  As we enter these final days of Advent we turn our attention to preparing our hopes.  This week we will look at the various characters in the Christmas story to see how each of them played a part in helping to bring God’s hope into the world and into our lives. 

Joseph and the Angel
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. 19 Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. 20 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. 21 She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”  Matthew 1:18-21

You have probably heard of “a man of few words,” but have you ever heard of a man of NO words?  Well actually you have, Joseph, of the New Testament.  Maybe you have not realized this before but in the whole story of Jesus, Joseph does not have one single spoken line recorded in scripture.  It’s ok though, because Joseph’s actions speak volumes.  

We can only imagine the crushing disappointment Joseph must have felt when he found out that Mary was pregnant.  There is only one way that could have happened, right?  She had been with another man.  It’s an assumption we all would have probably made. In that culture, such a discovery meant that Joseph could have publicly humiliated Mary and ruined her life, or worse.  But in this story we catch a glimpse of Joseph’s heart.  Before Joseph heard “the rest of the story” from the angel, when he was still assuming the worst, he decided that he would not make Mary the talk of the town.  He would dismiss her quietly—without any reality tv show drama.  For me, that reveals the goodness in Joseph’s heart. 

It’s Joseph’s next action, however, that made history.  Joseph’s next obedient action was to trust the word of God coming from the angel to not be afraid to take Mary as his wife.  As with Mary, I’m guessing this was not what Joseph’s hope was for entering into marriage.  Who hopes to marry a pregnant virgin?  Sounds complicated and messy, not to mention embarrassing when the rumor mills started going.  Still, Joseph said “yes” to God’s hope—which was “to save people from their sins.”

This was not the only time Joseph was obedient.  After Jesus was born the angel visited him again and told him to take Mary and Jesus and flee to Egypt to escape Herod’s wrath.  He brought Jesus to the Temple when he was 8 days old, an expression of his obedient faithfulness, as was his journey with Jesus to Jerusalem when Jesus was 12 years old.  Faithful obedience to God’s hope seemed to be Joseph’s MO.  

What about you?  As you look around your life, where do you sense a place pregnant with possibility for God’s hope to be made real?  How might God be calling you to play a part in breathing life into that hope?  It may mean that your best laid plans will get off course.  It might make your pocket book a little bit lighter. You might be called to join the messiness of life with someone where there are no easy solutions but your presence will reveal the comfort and grace of God.  Is there one new thing you can do today in faithful obedience to God’s hope?

If you are reading through Luke this month, today is Luke 22.  Here is the link:  Luke 22

 

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