Everything New: Joseph!

This is how the birth of Jesus came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to the public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietely, Matthew 1:18-19

We know so little about Joseph. He is only mentioned in the birth and childhood stories of Jesus. He was named after an ancient Patriach who used his success in Egyptto save his family and a future nation. Josephwas a carpenter who lived in the town of Nazareth, His ancestors were from Bethlehem, so when a Romanruler, Ceasar Augustus wanted a census, Joseph had to go back to Bethlehem, even though his wife was well along in her pregnancy. The most important thing we know about Josephis that when the time called, he displayed great faith and grace. He had found out that the woman he was engaged to be married to was pregnant. While Maryhad the benefit of the angel to explain her unique conception, Josephhad not been visited yet. All he had was Mary‘s word. So what was that conversation like? No, she hadn’t slept with another man. Yes, she was pregnant. And, yes, a Spiritual being had told her that she would conceive by a unique act of God- and as though that wasn’t enough, the child in he womb would be the Saviour of the World. Why did Joseph believe her? Why did he change his first plans to quietely divorce her so as not to expose her to the public shame? . Why did he choose to take her as his wife and then abstain from sexual relations with her until the birth of the child? If you were in his shoes, would you have believed Mary?

Here is something for all of us to think about at Christmas. Think of Joseph. Think of him looking into Mary‘s eyes, hearing her account, knowing in his heart of hearts it was true, and having the courage to act on that faith, even though he may have had doubts. As non-sensical as it seemed, he believed it. As much as the idea of a virginal conception violates both logic and science, even the rudimentary science of millenia ago, he knew it was possible with God. As risky as it was to stay with Mary and be branded by others as the hapless dupe of an immoral woman, Joseph decided to take that leap of faith.

That’s true about faith, it wasn’t just that he trusted Mary; he trusted God. That could; that God might; that God would



God, give me Joseph‘s courage and iron-strong faith. Give me faith to believe that, at the birth of Jesus, you really did enter this world– my world– and you are still working powerfully in it.