Tomorrow's Gospel, Matthew 1:18-25, tells us of Joseph, who was engaged to be married to Mary, then found out that she was going to have a child he knew was not his. That was scary stuff in his society, because Mary could have suffered the fate of being stoned to death. He could prevent it, though. He planned to not make a public fuss and just "dismiss her quietly."
That was when God intervened. God sent an angel to appear to Joseph in a dream and say, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afaid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus for he will save his people from their sins."
Joseph's willingness to obey God and take responsibility for Mary, to name and claim Jesus, stands as an example to us. The grace, wisdom and obedience of Joseph protected Mary and Jesus through the turmoil at Bethlehem and the exile in Egypt. Finally, Joseph had the good wisdom to avoid political controversy and settle his family back in Nazareth, which they had left in disgrace.
And Joseph did all this without one of his words being quoted in scripture.
The Rev. Linda McCloud
The Episcopal Church of Our Savior at Honey Creek