Main Content

Advent Devotional 11/28/16

November 28, 2016, Rev. Todd Boling
Scripture: Matthew 1:18-23
Expectations.  They can be tricky.  The time we spend anticipating a potential outcome or the arrival of something specific can either lead to the fulfillment of our best dreams, or it can lead to complete and utter disappointment.  And yes, it can sometimes land somewhere in the middle.
I often wonder what Joseph was expecting when he became engaged to Mary.  Maybe he thought he would settle into his role as a carpenter with Mary by his side, raise a family of sons and daughters, and live a peaceful and easy life.  While we don’t know what he was expecting, we can be sure that he clearly wasn’t expecting to be engaged to a woman who was already pregnant with child.  He had a choice to make in that moment, and he nearly chose to end the engagement.  But Joseph has this divine dream where an angel tells him not only to marry Mary, but what the child should be named – “Emmanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’”  I wonder what significance that name had for Joseph.  I wonder if that name gave Joseph the hope needed to live into a new and potentially challenging expectation.  God is with us.
We now live in a new and challenging time.  You need only to turn on the news to be met with a small glimpse of the chaos and uncertainty affecting us globally and nationally.  It’s enough to inspire anxiety and grief in the most peaceful and emotionally stable person.  Many of us, undoubtedly, would like to fade quietly into the background until this time passes.  But I wonder if instead we might choose to be like Joseph.  As we enter into this season of Advent, I wonder if in our time of need we might claim the hope we cling to as people of faith.  What might it be like to let that hope be enough for us to, like Joseph, in the midst of uncertainty live into a new and potentially challenging expectation?  All the while trusting that God is, in fact, with us still.
Gracious & loving God, help us to remember that much like every time You have seen us through challenging moments in the past, You are with us still – empowering us to live into this world with hopeful expectations.  Amen.


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.