Devotion for the Second Sunday in Advent


Matthew 1:18-25 (NASB)

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. 19 And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. 20 But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” 22 Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.” 24 And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, 25 but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.

Joseph had every right to disgrace Mary for becoming pregnant during their betrothal. After all, he knew he wasn’t the father of her child, but others would assume that he was. The pregnancy was a disgrace not only to Mary but to Joseph as well. Yet he didn’t question the angel. When the word came from God that he was to wed Mary, he readily did what he was told, just as Mary had readily accepted the message an angel delivered to her. These two ordinary people risked gossip, ostracization, and even punishment by death. They believed the messages they received from God’s angels and trusted Him to take those risks. Would we react the same way?

Heavenly Father, thank You for Mary and Joseph and countless others who believed in You and did Your will. Give us the same strong faith and willingness to sacrifice and take risks for You. In the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen.

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