Now the birth of Jesus Christ happened this way. While his mother Mary was engaged to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph, her husband to be, was a righteous man, and because he did not want to disgrace her, he intended to send her away privately. When he had contemplated 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, because the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son and you will name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
~The Apostle Matthew 1:18-25
Life doesn’t always turn out the way you think it will. Sometimes our expectations are crushed by reality. This was the case with Joseph. He had found true love, a woman to share his life, his fears, his dreams with. But just before they were to be married she was found to be pregnant.
Joseph’s place in the Christmas story is particularly encouraging. In him we see a man whose life was falling apart, whose future was in question, whose honor was at risk. But with a word from the Lord all that he thought was lost was redeemed. He is a living example of the truth found in the book of Proverbs.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding. Acknowledge him in all your ways, and he will make your paths straight.
The truth is that a word from God changes all things. Remember what the Apostle John wrote in the opening pages of his Gospel: “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” This is the hope of Christmas, God has given His Word to heal our brokenness.
Our hope for you today is that you will trust in Jesus, he is the Word become flesh and he will make your life straight!
The Christmas hymn “The Angel Gabriel From Heaven Came” was playing softly the background of today’s podcast. S. Baring Gould focuses his lyrics on the Angel and Mary. It is easy to forget that Joseph did not have the benefit of a physical visiting angel only a dream. As joyous and uncertain Mary must have been Joseph must have had his doubts. Faith is not doubt free but it is the ability to trust despite our doubts.
The Angel Gabriel from heaven came,
his wings as drifted snow, his eyes as flame;
‘All hail,’ said he, ‘thou lowly maiden Mary,
most highly favoured lady.’
‘For known a blessèd Mother thou shalt be,
all generations laud and honour thee,
thy son shall be Emmanuel, by seers foretold;
most highly favoured lady.’
Then gentle Mary meekly bowed her head,
‘To me be as it pleaseth God,’ she said,
‘My soul shall laud and magnify his holy name’:
most highly favoured lady.
Of her, Emmanuel, the Christ was born
in Bethlehem, all on a Christmas morn,
and Christian folk throughout the world will ever say
‘Most highly favoured lady.’
With much love, The Downings