The Gospel of Matthew: a commentary & meditation 
"An angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt"

Scripture: Matthew 2:19-23

19 But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, 20 "Rise, take the child and his mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child's life are dead."  21 And he rose and took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel.  22 But when he heard that Archelaus reigned over Judea in Place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee.  23 And he went and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, "He shall be called a Nazarene."
Meditation:  Like all godly parents, Joseph and Mary raised the child Jesus in the fear and wisdom of the Lord.  Joseph was given a unique task as the guardian and protector of Mary and of Jesus.  What can we learn from the example and witness of Joseph?  Joseph is a man of God, a man of  unquestioning obedience and willing service. He is a man of prayer and a man of God's word.  Through faith he recognized the hand of God in the mystery of the Incarnation— the Son of God taking flesh as the son of Mary.  Joseph is a man of action, diligent in the care of his family and ready to do the Lord's bidding.  Joseph fearlessly set aside his own plans when God called him to "take to the road" and to leave his familiar surroundings— his home, friends and relatives, and the security of his livelihood in order to pursue a hidden mission God entrusted to him as the guardian of the newborn King.  God has a plan for each of us. With the plan God gives grace and the assurance of his guiding hand and care.  Do you trust Him for his plan for your life?  Are you willing to sacrifice your own plans for God's plan?  Are you willing to give God unquestioning service and to pursue whatever mission he gives you?

"Lord, make me a faithful servant and guardian of your truth and your word. Help me to obey you willingly, like Joseph, with unquestioning trust and with joyful hope."


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(c) 2002 Don Schwager