Sally preached this morning on Joseph from the lectionary gospel reading (Matthew 1.18-25). She pointed out that Joseph was committed to a course of action, quietly divorcing Mary. In many ways, this in its self could be seen and understood as a virtuous even godly act. But before he acts on his decision he sleeps on it. Sleeping on it gives God a chance to speak, Joseph has a dream and comes away with a new conclusion, he should marry Mary not divorce her (engagement at that time was a legally binding contract. God wants him to do something different to his original idea.
I wonder if Joseph prayed before he went to sleep for God to speak to him? What ever happened, the way Matthew describes the story, consciously or inadvertently Joseph gives God the opportunity to intervene, speak and guide.
This seems a very sensible way for us to live. When we have important, life-changing decisions, that we give God the opportunity to speak to us. This may not be in a dream, but by other means – someone may speak to us, we may read something, glimpse something on the media we use, or one of those amazing co-incidences that just must be God may happen which cause us to think again.
When we felt God was calling us to move to the city we were not quite sure which city! We investigated several and then Sally had a dream and in that dream Floyd McClung said that moving to Birmingham was a great thing to do. Sally woke up believing that God had spoken as at that time as Floyd was one of those people whose ministry we both respected and admired. It wasn’t quite an angel speaking but it came close for us!
Has God led you in a new path in an unexpected way? We would love to hear about it!