Like Joseph, we are invited to wait upon the Lord—to trust that, in time, something marvelous and momentous will take shape out of our sufferings and difficulties. God is not the bearer of bad news but instead brings hope and encouragement. God does not cause our pain but desires to deliver us from it.
This year, consider the hope of Christmas through these fresh eyes, especially through your places of discouragement. God does not leave us to our own ends but can transform a hopeless situation into one filled with grace and love and the very presence of God.
—Todd Outcalt, Blue Christmas: Devotions of Light in a Season of Darkness (Upper Room Books, 2018)
What discouragement do you need to allow God to transform with love and presence? Join the conversation.
Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.”
—Matthew 1:19-20 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
Emmanuel, God who is with us, help me remember you are near every day of the year.
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(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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