Beyond the Weekend

December 21 | Joseph

December 21, 2020


When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. Matthew 1:24

Read: Matthew 1:18-25
Matthew 1


There is much to learn from the Christmas stories, even if they are so familiar. As we count down to Christmas morning, we’ll look closely at the people who “step into the spotlight” of the first Christmas. For each, we’ll focus on one crucial characteristic. It was important for them and for us too as we come into this Christmas 2020 season.

Our spotlight first shines on a laborer in Nazareth. Joseph is diligently practicing the trade that will sustain him and his soon-to-be family. But this isn’t the only thing occupying Joseph’s time and energy. He is “betrothed” to Mary, and there is much to be done. Most important, he is responsible for building the space where he and Mary will live (typically an addition to his father’s house). It’s a time of great anticipation and high energy as he works toward the day he can bring his betrothed home and begin their life together.

But plans change. Joseph believes Mary has been unfaithful to him. She is pregnant, and it’s not his. Because he’s a righteous Jew, he decides to privately and quietly divorce her. But he is visited by a heavenly messenger before he can follow through. An angel of the Lord tells him that he and Mary are now part of a story that has been unfolding for millennia—the birth of the Messiah. He’s told to get married anyway. Which, in the middle of all the unkowns, he does! He “did what the angel of the Lord had commanded” (Matthew 1:24). He obeyed his Lord.

Almost certainly this year, our plans have changed. Christmas 2020 looks nothing like Christmases past. Our job may look different, school is upside-down, relationships are strained and Christmas gatherings will be smaller if they even happen. But in the middle of our unkowns, let’s follow Joseph’s example of willing obedience. Let’s look each day for opportunities to “do” as God commands.


Use the angel’s words to Joseph, “do not be afraid” to encourage you as you faithfully follow God in the middle of uncertainty. Remember the words “Do not be afraid” and God’s presence with you every time you experience another change.

Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.

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