While Joseph was thinking about this, an angel from the Lord came to him in a dream. The angel said, “Joseph, the baby that Mary will have is from the Holy Spirit. Go ahead and marry her. Then after her baby is born, name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” So the Lord’s promise came true, just as the prophet had said, “A virgin will have a baby boy, and he will be called Immanuel,” which means “God is with us.”
After Joseph woke up, he and Mary were soon married, just as the Lord’s angel had told him to do. But they did not sleep together before her baby was born. Then Joseph named him Jesus.
Matthew 1:20-25 CEV
My favourite line in this evening’s gospel passage is “So the Lord’s promise came true, just as the prophet had said…” I love it because it reminds me that God is good to His word. He makes promises and keeps the promises He makes. Not always as quickly as I might like, and not always in the ways I expect, but he ALWAYS keeps His promises.
The people of Israel expected the Messiah to be a strong king with a sword in his hand, not a little baby. They had waited for the Messiah to arrive for at least 600 years. They must have wished, and hoped, and prayed that it would happen sooner than it did.
But God’s timing is different from ours. And like His promises, his timing is perfect. Jesus came at the right time, and so the Lord’s promises came true.
What promises has God made to you? Have the come true in the time and the way you expected, or have they taken a different route entirely? Spend some time in prayer today thanking God for his faithfulness, his patience, and his creativity in fulfilling the promises He had made.