Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife Matthew 1
All our dreams are there to help and heal us. That is why every dream is a gift, even those frightening dreams we call nightmares. Daniel O’Leary, Prism of love
Along which secret aqueduct,
Oh water, are you coming to me,
water of a new life
Marvelous error, Antonio Machado (Four Seasons Productions video)
Turning towards our dreams
No words are attributed to Joseph in the New Testament, ‘only’ agreement expressed in action. This is Joseph’s ‘Be it unto me’, a non-verbal submission that mirrors Mary’s own more heralded response. He receives 4 dreams, 3 of which include angels - presumably reinforcing the view that this is a message from God - who explain and instruct. The dream underlined, as they can do, deepest desires (to wed and care for Mary, in Joseph's case) and sometimes what to be aware, even wary, of (public disgrace for Mary and himself, in Joseph's case). The desire is affirmed and Joseph's personal conviction is strengthened for the road ahead.
His character is described in only one word in some translations, simply 'righteous'. A channel or aqueduct, along which life came to him was his dreams. This was the bright burning bush that turned him from his direction of travel (to divorce Mary quietly) and encouraged him onwards to his deepest desire. We all dream and it may be that Joseph would urge us to turn aside and receive the illumination that such whispers offer and afford us.