I am so grateful for my husband, family, and friends who remind me of God’s truth and help give me courage. I am also grateful for the Pastors and staff of BCF who give their lives to love the BCF people and community.
An angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife;” - Matthew 1:20 (New American Standard Bible)
The angel Gabriel calls both Mary and Joseph by name and tells them not to be afraid. This makes me think they must have been afraid. We seem to think Mary and Joseph were perfect, but they weren’t.
The angel Gabriel appears privately to give Joseph this life changing message. Why? I would have rather been told in a group. Had some support. Joseph had to show great courage. He must have been laughed at when he decided to marry his fiancé who was already pregnant. “Not your baby, Joseph? Sure!”
We don’t know if Mary was alone when the angel approached her, but the bible doesn’t mention anyone else. In that time, if you became pregnant while not married, you could be stoned to death. She must have known this. Yet, she agreed.
What I find amazing is that they both obeyed completely and immediately! After an encounter from God, their lives were changed and they rose quickly with courage to obey. Mary and Joseph immediately exchanged their plans for God’s plan.
The angel also told Mary that her cousin Elizabeth was going to have a baby. Elizabeth was old. She’d never been able to have a baby and now was physically too old to conceive.
If there was anyone that could encourage a young girl who was going to have a miraculous baby it would another mother experiencing a miracle. God provided encouragement and support in pointing Mary to Elizabeth.
The Bible tells us Mary went “quickly” to visit Elizabeth. I think God is showing us that we too can draw strength and courage from others who are also following the Lord. This might be your spouse, your family, your friends, or your small group. Pastor Kenny told us this week, “It’s safe to let God lead you. God is not someone to be feared, but someone to be followed.” As we follow the Lord, it’s easier done together. We are better together!