Waking up to a New Reality

Stan Mast

READ : Matthew 1:24-25

When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him. (v. 24 NIV)

This part of the nativity story ends with Joseph waking up to a changed world. Oh, the reality of the unplanned pregnancy was still there. He still had his broken dreams. But something huge had changed. What? Now he had the sure promise that God was with him.

So what did he do, question the dream, doubt the Word of God, and go on with his original plans? That is a great temptation when our dreams are broken—continue down the boulevard convinced we’re alone. We’ll just have to take care of it ourselves.

Joseph did as the angel had commanded. He lived by the Word, rather than by his wits. The fact that God was with Joseph and Mary enabled them to live in that brave new world. So he took Mary home as his wife, but they didn’t consummate their marriage until the baby was born. When he was born, Joseph gave him that name that is above all names, Jesus.

Every day they awoke to the new reality of God with them. What a comfort and challenge that was. But they could do it because of something we read earlier in Lamentations 3. Because of his broken dreams, Jeremiah said, “Gone is my expectation from the Lord” (v. 18 RSV). But then he reminded himself, “His mercies . . . are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (vv. 22-23).

PRAYER

Faithful God, as you walk with me today, give me new mercies for Jesus’ sake. Amen.