Advent Devotional: Second Sunday of Advent

Matthew 1:18-25

Do you enjoy surprise visitors? Maybe, if you know them and are glad to see them. Maybe not so much if they are door-to-door salespeople. But what if your surprise visitor was an angel?

God gives us some surprises throughout our lives. Abraham was surprised by three strangers and told that he was going to have a child at the age of 100. Moses was in the desert when he was surprised to hear God speaking from a burning bush. Mary and Joseph were surprised by the visit of an angel to tell them that they are going to be the parents of the savior of the world.

As you read today’s scripture passage, try to put yourself in Joseph’s place. What would your reaction be to hear that your fiancee was going to have a baby conceived from the Holy Spirit? And that the baby would be the promised Emmanuel, God with us? Consternation? Shock? Awe? But when Joseph awoke from the dream, his response was Obedience.

During this Advent season, amidst all the normal activities of shopping, parties, family meals, and giving presents, somewhere along the way. . . there could be a holy surprise waiting for you. It might come in the middle of a worship service, or while you are alone at home or in your car. But if your heart is free from distractions and open to an angel of God, get ready! And what will your response be?

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