The Annunciation to Joseph

Scripture: Matthew 1:18-25

Poor Joseph. In so many ways, he feels like those minor supporting characters of the beloved books and movies who mostly go unnoticed. He doesn’t get much screen time; he does not have a following of devoted fans; he is basically not mentioned at all after the opening scenes. Yet I read this passage, and I cannot help but marvel at his remarkable faith and trust in God.

Joseph was more than willing to stand out of the spotlight and let God do God’s work. Even at the risk of public disgrace, shame, and ostracization from his community, he stood firm and followed the Lord’s commands. There was so much at stake for him, yet his desire to follow God outweighed all of those risks.

When I think about how I prepare for the coming of the Messiah, Joseph challenges me to let go of what other people think of me. He challenges me to let go of my doubts that can creep in when I cannot see or understand God’s plans. Though it is very different than biblical times, speaking openly about my faith and proclaiming Christ as my Savior is still countercultural. Truly believing that God knows what lies ahead for me when I am feeling uncertain is not easy. Holding fast the promises of new life in Christ when the world feels so broken can feel like an uphill battle. I look again to Joseph for strength and encouragement: Joseph prepared the way for the Messiah by getting out of the way and trusting God’s word. I can only hope that I can follow his example.


Loving God, give me strength to trust you as Joseph did, and prepare my heart to anticipate your presence everywhere I go. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

About the Contributor:

Rev. Leslie Lang is the Associate Pastor for Young Adults and Missions at First Presbyterian Church Spartanburg.