advent 24 - God with us - Two Cities Church

advent 24 – God with us

by Ryan D.

I’ve often considered what the miraculous conception of Jesus was like for Joseph. Matthew 1:18-24 offers us a glimpse of what Joseph was experiencing at the time of Mary’s conception. This was something unexpected for Joseph, and probably pretty shocking. Imagine your fiancé showing up pregnant and you weren’t the father, and then being told Mary was conceived of the Holy Spirit. I’m sure that wasn’t part of Joseph’s life plan. A second miracle would be needed to make that work out. That is exactly what God did!

Scripture gives us a small view into Joseph’s heart. His response to this situation was a lesson for me during these confusing and challenging times. Joseph’s life was disrupted significantly. Despite this, he loved God, he was faithful, and he cared for Mary and the gift she carried. God was with him through this, alongside him. God even sent an angel to ease his concerns, clear the confusion, and provide instruction. 

All of us have faced something unexpected this year that likely derailed some plans. How do we respond when we are faced with unexpected circumstances? Do we have Joseph’s heart? I am encouraged that God promises to be with us. He gave us Jesus, our salvation. Then He gave us the Holy Spirit, our helper. This promise is even reflected in His name, Immanuel, God with us. How exciting that He will speak to us, guide us, comfort us, and never leave us or forsake us, despite how challenging our situations are.

Matthew 1:18-24 NIV

18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

20 But after he had considered 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 home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). 

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