Day # 19
Matthew 1:20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, Son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.”
“Honest, the cookies taste really good,” you say to your daughter who has just finished baking her first batch of cookies. She was nervous. She feared that no one would like them, that they wouldn’t be fit to eat. “Do you really mean that?” she asks. “Or are you just saying that to make me feel better?” She needs assurance that it is all right, that she did good with the mother’s recipe for cookies. Many a baker has been in that position. They have needed assurance that this recipe that they have labored so hard upon, is worth the time and effort that they put into it.
In A Recipe for a Savior it wasn’t a baker that needed assurance. It was Joseph, a carpenter. He received unexpected news. His betrothed, Mary, was pregnant. She was expecting a child that wasn’t his. (For the full story, read Matthew 1:18-25) He wasn’t sure what to do. Divorce her quietly? Accuse her of adultery? Leave her? All the things he was thinking to do was for himself. He wanted to be out of this situation. He never planned to be part of A Recipe for a Savior. He didn’t want any part of it. God sent him the assurance that he needed. Mary had not been unfaithful. Quite the opposite. She was still a virgin, pure. The child she carried was God’s Son, the Savior of the world. Do you remember the amazing ingredient that was added a while ago? Immanuel, God with us. Assurance is what Joseph needed. Assurance that all was good, faithful, holy and pure. The angel, a messenger from God, gives him that assurance.
How we need assurance of God’s love. The situations of our lives are often not what we expect them to be. They overwhelm us as we go through our days, sure that we cannot make the right decision. We need some assurance that the path we are on is the right path, doing the right thing. We are given that assurance in A Recipe for a Savior. Here in the child that is born to Mary we are given that assurance. As long as we keep our eyes on the Savior, following the way of the Lord in the Word, we are on the right path. In that soon to be born child we have our assurance.
Prayer: Lord God, You assured Joseph of the purity of Your Son’s birth. In that assurance he was able to live his life in faith, trusting in You. Give each of us that assurance that all is good in Your Son. Send us Your Spirit in Word and Sacrament to assure us in our times of weakness. Amen.
Deeper Thought: What area of your life have you needed the most assurance that all will be well? Who gave you that assurance? How has God assured you of His presence or love in those times of doubt or trouble?