Archive for March 9th, 2018

The account we read today is one that we’re probably all familiar with. It recounts the communication between Joseph and the angel of the Lord and then subsequently the birth of Jesus. It’s interesting to know what the names of each of the characters mean in Hebrew. Joseph means “God increase”, Mary means “wished for child” and Jesus is from the Greek derivation of Joshua, meaning “God saves.” The names in themselves tell a story. However, the most striking thing about both Mary and Joseph, is their willingness to be obedient to the calling placed upon them by God. In both cases, their encounters with the angel of the Lord result in the same reaction, “OK let’s do this” (if you’ll pardon the paraphrase). Both of them had a lot to lose. Mary could have ended up an outcast for having a child out of wedlock and Joseph could have faced public disgrace, too, but both chose obedience.

I don’t know how this works for you but my own reaction to God’s call isn’t always so straightforward. In fact very often there’s an amount of debate before I’m able to consider moving into whatever it is that God is asking of me and even then, I’ll find myself putting restrictions on the call. “If this doesn’t work out I’m going to bail out and do something simpler”.

Obedience is all about accepting a call without questioning it or trying to find a way around it. It’s about having respect for the relationship we have with God and trusting that He already knows how things will turn out. We don’t know very much about Joseph, in fact after a fleeting appearance in the story of Jesus’ disappearance aged 12, we hear nothing more of him (see Luke 2:41-51). But what we do know is that he heard what God asked of him through an angel, he respected the call and did what he was asked to do. The end result was that God’s plan advanced, the Kingdom moved forward and the world received its Saviour in the form of Jesus.

I’ve come to realise that being asked to do something by God is a privilege. God never asks more of us than we can handle, so no matter how scary his call may be He already knows what we’re capable of and what the end result will be. So why should we worry? Usually for all of the wrong reasons.















Father God, help me to walk in Your ways. Deepen my relationship with You and help me to be obedient to Your call so that the Kingdom might advance. Amen.

March 2018
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