Just like in the life of Joseph and Mary, something happened. In the espousal period Mary is found to be carrying a seed with the assumption of an encounter with an earthly father. But the good news is that she was a virtuous woman who had an encounter with the divine rather than a human.
Joseph was in a challenging position worrying about many things, (ruining their names, scandal, even death because of the pregnancy). Much pressure was upon him in his decision making. What should have been a joyous, pleasant and peaceful time turned into an unsettled time. We too have found ourselves faced with pain, problems and panic over the last ten months.
Now we are preparing to embrace the Christmas season with feelings that are not so good. In the text we see that Joseph goes to sleep in his overwhelmingness. We too go to sleep not so much to sleep but in hopes that what we’re experiencing has been a bad dream and we’ll wake up from the dream. Whether exhausted or depressed, God can, in our slow moments of life, visit us and give us something that radically changes the next moment.
Maybe Joseph needed a positive visit to see past what he was focused so much on to recognize that there was much more he did not see or appreciate that could hope him, help him and maybe heal him. Our life is a gift from God, and we have so many reasons to celebrate but we insist on focusing on the dark spots which are small compared to everything we have. We focus on things that have gone wrong and fail to appreciate what we still have and know that the Lord is still in control.
God is helping us in this text to see that while we may feel like Joseph, we require a positive visit during troubled moments. Pastor Brown presented thee points in response to the question he posed ‘what does positivity bring?’ The first point from verses 19 and 20 – ‘this visit brought peace for his (Joseph) difficulties.’
God wants to visit with us each day. In moments of encounter with God, He will bring peace to our mind, heart and existence. God can remind us that though we go through, we’ll get through. Perhaps we wouldn’t know God the way we know Him if it hadn’t been for the pain and problems we experience. A positive visit from God has the potential to bring peace for difficult times.
The second point from verse 20 – ‘this visit brought people for his development’. While the text does not directly show people, it shows that if Joseph was willing to accept what God had done then he’ll accept people to help him develop all he needs for what God has destined for his life. In verse 20, God says don’t see this as a negative but a positive which sets the stage for Joseph to be positively impacted by other people.
Verse 23 introduced the first person, Isaiah and the word in the book of Isaiah, shepherds rejoicing, wise men who brought gifts, Simeon and Anna. God always has people that will help develop us for the difficulties in life but the first person we need is God. God will always bring human people to help us learn scripture, praise God, help understand that God is good, wise and that Jesus is more than a babe, but our elder brother who has all things in His hands. We need people in our lives to help us see that a mistake is a miracle, a setback is a setup and a disaster as destiny.
The third point from verses 21-24 – ‘this visit brought a promise for his life’. Verse 21 is the promise: And she brought forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus; for he shall save his people form their sins. Joseph himself would be a recipient of this promise. The future is bigger than we image but first God has to deal with the failed, fallen and broken relationships we have with Him.
Sin has separate us from God’s presence, power and provision. God wants to do more with our lives, but sin must be dealt with. We must affirm that we are sinners needing a savior, invite the Savior in so that he will radically change our life and write our name in His book affirming that we are sons and daughters in right relationship with the Father.
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Rev. Brian K. Brown is the pastor of St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church. Please join our live streaming service on YouTube @ St Mark MBC each Sunday @ 10:45 and Wednesdays @ 7:00 p.m.