Advent 2016 – Dec 21

Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do 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 as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.’ All this took place to fulfil what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:

Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means, "God is with us."

When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus. -- Matthew 1:18-25     Christmas is about a daddy named Joseph. He barely gets noticed in the Christmas celebration, because Luke tells a better story. Joe was a dreamer, which is my way of saying that he trusted what God revealed to him while he was sound asleep. Most of us struggle to trust God in the broad daylight, even when the handwriting is on the wall. Joseph was a protector. He protected Mary from humiliation and Jesus from hateful Herod. I wonder, sometimes, what Jesus learned while he and his adopted dad worked together in the carpenter shop making furniture. Given that Jesus died protecting a thief from hell -- and us from the same end -- I'm guessing that saving people was a common theme.