Daily Devotion 16 December 2020

Create a peaceful space to pause, and allow yourself to feel God’s presence alongside you, as near to you as your own breath. In following the reflection below, as a church we will draw closer to God and to one another as we grow in faith and deepen our sense of belonging to God.

Isaiah 7: 13-14 ‘A Prophecy about a Child’

13 Then Isaiah said: ‘Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary mortals, that you weary my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel.

I have been thinking about the number of dreams that I have had recently. They are pleasant ones bringing back memories of the past, but they are strange that often events turn out different from what actually happened!

Today I would like to mention two men with the same name. In the book of Genesis, Joseph was the favourite son of his father, because he was born to Jacob in old age; Jacob famously bought him a special coat, leading to his brothers’ jealousy and Joseph being sold him as a slave. Joseph was able to interpret the dreams of prisoners and the pharaoh’s wise men and correctly foretold the years of plenty would be followed by years of famine. Joseph’s brothers were sent to Egypt to buy food. At first, they did not recognise him but the story ends by the whole family being brought back together. It is a story of redemption and forgiveness, and it reminds me of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s wonderful musical ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat’ which I have seen and I took part in an amateur production at my church many years ago.

Dreams are important occasions in both Old and New Testaments and Isaiah foretold the coming of Christ in Isaiah who has a name meaning: ‘God with us.’ Then in Matthew’s gospel the angel Gabriel spoke to Joseph that he was to be the father of God’s son. He must have been nervous to hear this, but Joseph wanted to do the right thing. He made plans to break off the engagement quietly, but was told that it was by the Holy Spirit that Mary conceived. Mary too, came to accept what was happening, with her ‘Magnificat’ and the Holy family set off from Nazareth in Galilee to Bethlehem in Judea, to register, as Joseph was a descendant of David. Mary and Joseph prepared for Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem by accepting and letting events happen. They were beyond their comprehension, but, no matter, God was in control as he was with Jacob and his sons.

So, can we forgive someone and offer reconciliation? Do we accept things to happen beyond reason, but with God’s acceptance, and as we come to Christmas are we ready to act according to the will of God?

This reminds me of Matt Redman’s song: “The sun comes up, it’s a new day dawning,
Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me, let me be singing when the evening comes”.

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, Light of the world,
blessed is Gabriel who brought good news,
blessed is Mary, your mother and ours.
Bless your church, preparing for Christmas,
and bless us your children who long for your coming. Amen.

Reflection & Prayer © 2020 Matthew Earl.
Image freely available online.
A printable version of this Daily Devotional can be downloaded from here

All material within this order of worship is reproduced by permission under CCL 1226356