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, her fiancé, was a good 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.” 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 1:18-25 NLT
Jesus lived the most vulnerable childhood. He was born poor and amidst the scandal of a young mother who was found to be pregnant before marriage. As an infant, he was displaced by violence. Thank God Joseph was a “good man” who listened to God and raised Jesus as his own. Joseph was a provider and a protector (later we read that God warned him to flee to Egypt so that Jesus would not be killed by Herod). Joseph was a father to the fatherless.
God could have chosen any situation, any time, any place and any family to be born into. He chose this one. In that choice he shows a piece of his heart and character. He called Joseph to father Jesus as his own; in essence to ‘adopt’ him. Today let’s pray God keeps calling good men to step up and father the fatherless.
Prayer: God, you are our example and our hope. Thank you for the example of Joseph. Jesus, thank you for consistently choosing the position of weakness and vulnerability over power and privilege in order to show us more of how you work. God we pray that you call more “good men” like Joseph to become fathers of the fatherless; to have your heart for the orphan. Jesus, give them the strength and courage to step into this role of father. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.