Gabriel stood in amazement as he saw the intricate details of the Most High's orchestration to involve the right people in His redemptive plan. He hadn't yet revealed himself as he watched Joseph of Nazareth wrestling with the knowledge he had received. Joseph was a "righteous" man, a man who took the Law of Moses quite seriously. As such, he was obviously weighing out his limited choices of what to do with Mary's pregnancy.
The Eternal knew that Joseph would struggle; that's why His messenger had come this night. Gabriel considered the joyful news he would bring shortly and then remembered how one of his kinsmen, a mighty warrior, had been given a message long ago.
One of the Lord's choice prophets, a man named Daniel, was given a great vision of something in his future. Perplexed because he often knew interpretations immediately, Daniel couldn't understand the meaning of this one. He began to fast and pray, continuing for 21 days. (Daniel 10)
In the meantime, the Most High had immediately dispatched his messenger with the interpretation for Daniel. But the messenger was thwarted by none other than the fallen principality (Ephesians 6:12) of the nation of Persia. This great, twisted demon fought against the messenger day after day with Daniel holding fast in prayer. Finally, the Almighty sent Michael the archangel to join in the fight. Michael held the demon prince at bay until the messenger could break through to Daniel. Then the messenger had to go back the same way, knowing that the demon prince of Greece was now joined in the battle. It was one of the historic battles in the invisible realm!
For some reason, Gabriel's announcement to Joseph met with little resistance. He knew, though, that a great battle was yet to come and would begin soon!
"O, Eternal," Joseph prayed in his exhaustion, "what do I do?"
Gabriel recognized the moment. "Joseph, son of David..."
To my readers: the events surrounding the birth of Christ are given extensive coverage in Scripture. The parts we don't always know about are the human elements, especially from the viewpoint of Jesus' participants. My attempt this Christmas is to stay true to the Biblical text, while shading in what it may have been like "between the lines." Please distinguish my ruminations from God's Word by reading the first few chapters of Matthew and Luke. My hope is that reading my words impacts you even a tiny percentage as much as writing them has impacted me.