Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Good morning friends,
Merry Christmas to you! Tonight, I hope many of you can join us for Christmas Eve worship at 7pm. It's a joyful celebration of God's love with music and the wonderful story of Jesus' birth. Our reading today tells a piece of the lead up to that story. Joseph and Mary were engaged and Mary became pregnant, but not by Joseph. Mary knew this was from the Holy Spirit, but Joseph had to make the obvious assumption. As often, God doesn't leave this story the way it was going. Joseph is a character we don't learn much about, but this small story gives us some insight into this brave and faithful man. May you find new strength in the amazing gift of Jesus this season.
18Now 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. 19Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly.
20But 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. 21She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: 23“Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us.” 24When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, 25but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus.