Matthew 1:18-25 and Luke 1:28-38 (NIV)

18 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. 20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”–which means, “God with us.” 24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus

28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” 29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31 You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.” 34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” 35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. 37 For nothing is impossible with God.” 38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her.

Luke 1:38 (NIV)

28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

DEVOTION – Janise McNair (Florida)

Every summer when I was a child, my family drove from Texas to North Carolina to attend a family reunion.  Much of the journey was enjoyable scenic; but the first 550 miles were on an empty desert highway.  To get ready, my father filled the car with gas.  My mother packed a cooler full of food and drinks.  We kids brought books, car games, and music.

Our summer treks remind me of the incredible journey of Joseph and Mary.  I admire them because when they understood that God had a plan for their lives, they got ready.  They seriously considered God’s vision.  They heard the word of God from the angel and took it to heart.  Though Joseph and Mary didn’t know where journey would lead, they trusted God.

Sometimes our journey through Advent is scenic and enjoyable, but often it can seem like a long desert trek.  In either case, we can help one another to prepare.  We can look for God, listen for God’s call, and consider that God has a purpose for us.  And, like Mary and Joseph, when we don’t quite understand where the journey will lead, we can put our trust in God.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: I can trust God for my journey.

LINK2LIFE: Go to to see a photo of Janise and her siblings.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank you for our journey and for church families that are ready and willing to travel with us; in Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.