December 4: Read Matthew 1:18-25 NLT 

Over the next days we will explore Joseph’s part in the Christmas story. Did Joseph ever dream he would have such a choice? Mary, Joseph’s intended wife, finds herself pregnant and Joseph is not the father. Therefore, Joseph must choose, in his way of thinking, between divorcing Mary quietly or having her stoned to death as his legal right under Jewish law of not coming to the marriage pure. At least in normal circumstances this would be legal, but these are not normal circumstances. 

You may have heard or read the tale of Christmas so many times that maybe you never really thought about how Joseph could have chosen to have Mary stoned. Joseph could have understandable anger, be disappointed, and his righteousness could turn into self-righteousness. Just imagine the looks, judgment, and ridicule he would have to endure from his community when Mary’s pregnancy becomes known. Purity in all areas was a tenant of the Jewish faith. 

Joseph was a righteous man, but he could not see beyond those two choices. Then God sends an angel to offer another choice: one perhaps Joseph never thought of. God tells him to go ahead and take Mary as his wife; it’s part of a bigger plan God has for the salvation of the world.

Our journey of life is full of choices. Look to God to provide the option that is the best, even if it was not a choice originally considered. During this Advent season, what are some choices you are faced with? Now ask God to reveal the best choice for how to proceed.

Prayer: Holy Spirit, guide me to the most God honoring choices in my life.

Reflection Questions

We have three choices in life when we are faced with a situation: 1. Our Way, 2. The World’s Way, or 3. God’s Way. God’s ways are always part of a bigger plan.

Isaiah 55:8: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.

Think of a time when you have chosen your way, the world’s way, and God’s way.

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