Well, I've never had a dream like that before, you know? Most of mine are the usual kind of thing, with people and places all jumbled together, and it seems perfectly normal that you and Great-Aunt Sarah are riding flying donkeys to Assyria. Until you wake up. But this one was... different.
How? I guess it had an air of... authority, you might say. Did you ever have a dream where someone was commanding you to do something? I can't say I have. But in this one, there was an angel - and I knew right away he was an angel, like you do in dreams. No, no wings, not that I recall. But a kind of brightness around him, somehow.
And he told me - just straight out, in plain language - he told me, "Joseph, go ahead and take Mary as your wife. She's telling the truth. This child really is from the Holy Spirit, and it will be a boy, and you will call him Jesus." Exactly what Mary's been saying all along.
And you know - well, I talked to you just yesterday, didn't I? You know how convinced I was that divorce was the only way to go. As quietly as possible, of course, but I just couldn't start a marriage knowing I was raising another man's kid. And as first-born! It'd play havoc with the inheritance. Not to mention all the trust issues, and... no, I won't start that again, you've heard it all before.
Well, I woke up this morning perfectly convinced the other way. The last thing I could do is divorce Mary now. I know what you're going to say: "Because of a dream?" But that's what I've been trying to explain. It all made perfect sense in the dream, and it still makes perfect sense now I'm awake. This is what I'm being told to do.
No, I know I haven't had any real answers to my questions. Except - I have, haven't I? If what Mary and this angel said is true, that changes everything.
Yes, that changes... everything.
Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream.