Advent Devotion for Tuesday, December 24

By Becky Majesky

Read Matthew 1:16-23

We begin our reading in Matthew with a bit of the back story of Jesus’ birth, a reminder that not only Mary was special, but Joseph was a man of royal blood. The lineage of Joseph is full of memorable names and includes significant numbers of generations (14 is a multiple of 7, which means perfect, complete, or satisfied).

Matthew reviews the genealogy of Jesus through Joseph, and now the angel reminds Joseph of his royal lineage. When the angel speaks to “Joseph son of David,” it’s like he is building Joseph up with the history of his people and their triumphs that have led them to this moment (a subtle “remember how little David fought Goliath” sort of an angelic pep talk).

“Do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife.”  Of course Joseph is afraid of what the neighbors are going to think! Mary, the woman he is to marry and who is to continue his own lineage, is pregnant, and Joseph had nothing to do with it.

Certainly we can relate to imperfect circumstances, when we feel we have no control, on the cusp of something we don’t feel equipped to handle. Yet the angel appealed to Joseph’s sense of decency and righteous character to take the more uncertain, potentially scandalous path.

A situation that Joseph’s neighbors couldn’t understand, one that suggested sinfulness, was the world’s very redemption from sin. Everyday life is becoming God’s arena for relating to His people. Emmanuel–God with us–is not just a Christmastime name, but is truly who You are. In what ordinary acts and places will God’s presence be made known among us this day?

We Pray: Father, thank You for using ordinary life to relate to us, Your people, throughout the generations.  Because You gave Jesus’ royal blood to make each of us Your child, You encourage us to step boldly into the tricky situations of life while building our character and strength. Remind us to be fearless as You guide us through tough choices that glorify You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.