Significance.

Most guys crave significance.

Men are hard-wired to want to make an impact on their world, to be viewed as competent by their peers, to have a skill that gives them confidence in the workplace and in the broader world they live in. Husbands love it when their wives respect them. Workers love it when their office-mates think they've done a good job.

That's why it's bittersweet when a world-class athlete retires, because - now what? It's an admission that they can no longer do what everyone loved watching them do.

Joseph was a guy.

His engagement to Mary might have been prearranged, but he still loved her. He looked forward to their life together. He probably anticipated the approval of the community, the ability to provide for her, to give her a safe place to have a baby, to name his first-born child, to live a long and happy life.

Then his world crashes. She's pregnant. It's not his. Everything is gone.

So, an angel shows up. Joe, this is God's plan.

You won't be the real father of your first child.

You'll live in a town where everyone knows that.

You won't get to decide that child's name.

You won't be able to find a hotel room for Mary to give birth in.

You'll have to leave the country and run for your lives for a few years.

You'll be in the Bible but you won't say anything.

You'll die early and never see your son's Messianic ministry.

Is that OK with you?

For a guy, the gift of God could have felt like humiliation, an incredible honor might have seemed like a slap in the face. But, "when Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife."

He would have to find his significance somewhere else. Somewhere besides the normal ways guys build their resumes, maybe in the eyes of His Heavenly Father, and in the task he was given to do: raise the Messiah, teach him to trust God, and to read the Torah.

And to make really good tables.

- Steve