Gabriel is only heard from on very special occasions. His messages were directly from God and when he showed up, people listened. He brought comfort, astonishment, even a tugging at the faith of those he visits.
Joseph was a carpenter. Skilled craftsmen were few and far between, so the need for someone to create pieces carved from wood for practical or decorative pieces was there in the little village.
Being married to one who carves things from wood, I know it takes great ability to chisel away at a piece of wood and create something useful and beautiful from within it. In the process, the artist’s hands become blistered, slivered, strong and rough to the touch. Up until now, he had it made. He was engaged, had a trade which would support his new wife and family, a strong work ethic and a strong faith to get him through just about anything.
When Gabriel came to Joseph in a dream, we find a man confused, yet loving and resolute. He learned that his intended bride was pregnant. He knew he wasn’t the father. He loved this young woman and planned to spend the rest of his life with her, yet he knew her condition would stir the community and cause tongues to wag. He decided to take action. Hed quietly “divorce” her. Once a couple decided to marry in that time, they were already wed in the sight of God. He didn’t want to submit Mary to ridicule. His heart was breaking, but he fell into a deep sleep convinced that this was the only way.
As he slept, Gabriel, appeared to him – the same one who came to Mary and Zachariah with an amazing message from God. Like Mary, he accepted what the angel said, even though the whole idea was incomprehensible.
There are many times we feel secure with the way life is going and suddenly we’re thrown off guard with shocking news or events. Gabriel hasn’t made any recent visits, but now we have direct communication with God through His only Son. When those times hit us square between the eyes, Jesus is the mediator who carries us through. God now speaks directly to us through the Bible. What a wonderful resource to get us through difficult times, days of sadness and depression, moments of fear and anxiety. The perfect manual for all situations in life is our connection to Almighty God.
Lord, keep us steadfast in your Word. Strengthen our faith through your Holy Spirit and help us to share your great news of salvation with others. Amen!