Psalm 23 (NLT)
The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows;
he leads me beside peaceful streams.
He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.
Even when I walk through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.
You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.
When I reflect on Psalm 23, I think of David watching his sheep, feeling peaceful and content and writing the words, “The Lord is my shepherd…” I imagine him sitting, content, and reflecting on the goodness of God. The setting of the writing of Psalm 23 that I imagine couldn’t be further from David’s reality. David didn’t write this Psalm while he was shepherding sheep. He wasn’t content and he certainly wasn’t peaceful.
Luke 2:1-5 (NLT)
At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, to whom he was engaged, who was now expecting a child.
The saying goes that pregnancy is a binary state: You either are or are not pregnant.
While this is technically true, it doesn’t capture the reality of the maternal situation. Ask any woman who is currently or has ever been pregnant and I suspect you will get the same answer. A woman who is in the first week of pregnancy is unlikely to even know that she is carrying a child. However, a woman who is a week over her due date will have a different opinion entirely!
Matthew 1:24 (NLT)
When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife.
Whatever else you might think about Joseph, there is one thing for certain: He was a man of action.