PART 2 : WHEN JESUS CAME AS A CHILD
This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. Joseph, to whom she was engaged, was a righteous man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly. As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name Him Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through His prophet: “Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call Him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’” When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife. But he did not have sexual relations with her until her son was born. And Joseph named Him Jesus. (Matthew 1:18-21, 24-25)
Good people can make bad decisions when they act with incomplete information.
Joseph had every reason to doubt Mary’s faithfulness and cast her aside. Mary could have survived as a single mother, parenting a sinless child, perhaps living away from the gossiping tongues of Nazareth with her loving cousin Elizabeth. Jesus and John the Baptist could have been playmates.
However, God loved Joseph, Mary and Jesus, and He wanted this family whole. So He corrected Joseph’s faulty assumptions and gave him the information, encouragement and instruction he needed to restore his family. God’s intervention kept that family intact.
Although God seldom uses dreams to speak to His people, through His words in the Bible we have the information, encouragement and instruction we need to repair any nightmare or fractured relationship caused by our faulty assumptions. In 1 Corinthians 13:7, Paul writes that love: • Puts up with anything. • Trusts God always. • Always looks for the best. • Never looks back. • Keeps going to the end.
Nobody dreams of having a bad relationship with their family or friends, but sometimes we misperceive, misinterpret or overreact to a situation. Loving by faith means taking the time to listen, understand and have compassion. If you feel disconnected and distant from a loved one, take the initiative to hear their story without condemnation. You will be taking the first step toward fulfilling your dreams of reconciliation.
Pray and Reflect
Is there someone you need to love by faith this Christmas?
“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Romans 12:18)
(written by David Lloyd)