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ADVENT 2021: DAY 6 - Light in the Night


By Pastor Courtney Hall (Fri. Dec. 3, 2021)

Both the Old & New Testaments feature key men called Joseph who, in addition to a common name, faith, & lineage, also shared a legacy of receiving God’s guidance through DREAMS. In Genesis, Joseph son of Jacob had divine dreams & interpreted the dreams of others by God’s guidance (Gen 37, 40-41). Nearly two millennia later, the New Testament’s Joseph (husband of Mary the mother of Jesus) was also open to the revelation of God that came via dreams. When he first learned of the virgin Mary’s miraculous pregnancy prior to their marriage, Joseph understandably struggled to believe her condition could be divinely caused. “But [then] an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a DREAM, saying…’the Child…is of the Holy Spirit.’” (Matt 1:20). With profound faith, Joseph awoke & acted on God’s directions.

Later, in Matthew chapter two, King Herod ordered the execution of certain children to squelch any threat to his rule from a newborn Messiah. Jesus survived because Joseph again received angelic warning within a dream (v.13), prompting him to take his family to Egypt until after Herod’s death, which was also announced to Joseph via a dream so that he & his family returned to Israel & after yet another dream, to Nazareth in Galilee (vv.19-23).

Obviously, the events surrounding Jesus’ birth & early life include much that is miraculous & unique. Nevertheless, God repeatedly guided people by dreams throughout the Bible (Gen 20,28,31; Judges 7; 1 Kings 3; Daniel 2,4,7; Matt 27:19; Acts 16:9-10). Dependence on God is the pivotal point. These tales don’t teach us to go seeking for secrets from God in our dreams in the night but rather to live our lives each day in the LIGHT of His truth, open to hearing from Him “at all hours” & willing to relinquish our own plans for His at all times.


SCRIPTURE READING: Matthew 1:18-25

“But when he had considered this, behold, 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; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit...’”

(Excerpt above is vv.20-21. Compare also Isaiah 7:14)

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