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    Matthew 2:13-15 - Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Rise, take the Child and His mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the Child, to destroy Him." And he rose and took the Child and His mother by night and departed to Egypt and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, "Out of Egypt I called My Son."

    Have you ever noticed that, apart from the first time, it is Joseph God speaks to, and not Mary? God brings Joseph into the whole situation by making it clear to him that the baby is in fact the Son of God; He then tells Joseph to go through with the wedding, making him Jesus' foster-father and protector. From that point on, God sends dream after dream to Joseph: He warns him to take Jesus and Mary to Egypt when Herod threatened the baby's life; He tells him when it's safe to come back again; and He guides him to settle his family in Galilee, safely out of the reach of Herod's dangerous son and successor.

    Joseph is Jesus' protector. He is not an afterthought—not a mere add-on to the basic Nativity set of Mary and baby. He takes the role of a father—he guides, he watches over, he protects. His role is vital. Without Joseph—what?

    Without you—what? You too have a vital role in life, whether that's as a protector, nurturer, pray-er, teacher, caregiver, care receiver, or any of a multitude of ways God gives us to serve one another. Your role is vital, whatever it may be. God has called you to it, no matter how major or minor it may seem. And God makes no mistakes.

    PRAYER: Dear Lord, You know what You have in mind for me to be and do. Guide me so that I fulfill that role and take joy in it, remembering that You love me and have chosen me to be Your own. Amen.

    Who has been your protector, at any point in your life? Who have you protected?

    Do you ever feel like an add-on in someone else's story? How does the Lord remind you that you are central to Him?

    There are those, like the infant Jesus, who can't "do" anything at all in their stage of life. What do you think is their God-given role—how does God bless others through them even at that time of life?
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    Copyright 2016 BigDog Ministries. All Rights Reserved.

    Copyright 2016 All Rights Reserved.

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