Invitation and Preparation
O God, make speed to save us
O Lord, make haste to help us
Let us pray:
Blessed are you, sovereign Lord, merciful and gentle: to you be praise and glory for ever. Your light has shone in our darkened world through the child-bearing of blessed Mary; grant that we who have seen your glory may daily be renewed in your image and prepared like her for the coming of your Son, who is the Lord and Savior of all. Amen.
Listen and Receive
Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name Immanuel”
May the Word of God rest gently on our hearts, that when our hearts break the Word of God may flow in.
Reflect and Respond
Joseph has received distressing news. The woman he is expecting to marry is expecting a child that is not his. He makes the obvious assumptions and determines a seemingly righteous and gentle response. Then an angel appears and asks him to believe the impossible and do the improbable, even if it means facing shame and ridicule.
Everyday we encounter people about whom we know little except the assumptions we make. Often these assumptions may be correct, but like Joseph, we are called to believe the impossible - that the person in front of us is loved by God and we are called to do the improbable - to love them according to God’s love even when it means facing shame and ridicule.
I wonder, who might God be calling you to see differently and love fully?
Blessed and Sent
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore. Amen.
In this season of light, may your light so shine before others that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.