READ : Matthew 1:18-25
In the society of that day, betrothal was a stronger commitment than engagement is in our society. When it became obvious to Joseph that Mary was pregnant, he could only think that she had been unfaithful to him. What a shock! How could she do that to him? He shows amazing graciousness. He still wants to spare her feelings, so he plans to break the betrothal agreement with as little publicity as possible. This certainly showed that Joseph had the sensitivity to serve well as the foster father of Jesus.
But an angel tells Joseph what really happened. Mary, a virgin, is miraculously pregnant as a result of the work of the Holy Spirit. The child to be born will fulfill the Old Testament prophecy and will be Emmanuel, meaning, God with us. How wonderful, in Jesus theperfect, powerful God shows that He is not against us but with us, He is not far from us but with us. Amazing grace! So Joseph marries Mary.
The name Jesus is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Joshua. The name also reveals God’s purposes in dealing with us, for it means, “The Lord is salvation.” This too is a revelation of grace. We cannot rescue ourselves; God is the one who rescues us. And He begins in this amazing way, by becoming a human being. That is the true meaning of Christmas. Let us focus on that truth.
Father, give us the graciousness of Joseph when people hurt us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.