The Carpenter's Dream

The Carpenter's Dream

19 November 2009


19 Joseph, her fiancé, being a just man, decided to break the engagement quietly, so as not to disgrace her publicly. 20 As he considered this, he fell asleep, and an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to go ahead with your marriage to Mary. For the child within her has been conceived by the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 1:19-20 NLT)

Joseph is often a kind of shadow in the background of the story of Jesus’ birth and early life. We know he had to be there to lead the donkey Mary rode on to Bethlehem. Someone had to have a job and work to pay the bills while Jesus was growing up. Apart from that, Joseph is kind of like a piece of furniture on a stage set, necessary but largely unnoticed.

The thing that caught my attention today was that Joseph was actually a very spiritual man and without his spiritual sensitivity and willingness to respond in faith, the story of Christ’s birth could have been very different. Four times in Matthew 1 and 2, God communicated to Joseph in a dream. Four times Joseph responded in faith and obeyed the message God gave him. Four times Joseph believed God’s message and took the crucial action that provided and protected and fulfilled the prophecies God had given hundreds of years before.

God needs ordinary people who are spiritually sensitive and willing to take bold steps of faith when he communicates to them. God needs people who do the things that are necessary to fulfill his purpose even though they may never hold center stage in the drama.

I want to be willing to just “be there” and play my part in God’s plan. I want to be spiritually sensitive so that I’ll take the necessary steps when the time comes. I’m thankful for the example of Joseph, the hard-working, matter-of-fact carpenter, who was able to hear from God and respond in faith at crucial times in God’s redemptive plan.


Father, whether it’s center stage or in the shadows, let me be sensitive to hear and willing to obey. It’s your plan, after all. I am willing to play my part. Amen.

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