Tag Archives: Joseph

A Faithful God iv

(No, I have not lost the plot, well ok, but not in putting this Advent/Christmas reading here in Lent anyway, March 19th is apparently Saint Joseph’s Day.  It also illustrates beautifully the faithfulness of God)

Matthew 1:18-25 (CEV)

The Birth of Jesus

18 This is how Jesus Christ was born. A young woman named Mary was engaged to Joseph from King David’s family. But before they were married, she learned that she was going to have a baby by God’s Holy Spirit. 19 Joseph was a good man and did not want to embarrass Mary in front of everyone. So he decided to quietly call off the wedding.

20 While Joseph was thinking about this, an angel from the Lord came to him in a dream. The angel said, “Joseph, the baby that Mary will have is from the Holy Spirit. Go ahead and marry her. 21 Then after her baby is born, name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

22 So the Lord’s promise came true, just as the prophet had said, 23 “A virgin will have a baby boy, and he will be called Immanuel,” which means “God is with us.”

24 After Joseph woke up, he and Mary were soon married, just as the Lord’s angel had told him to do. 25 But they did not sleep together before her baby was born. Then Joseph named him Jesus.

God is with us,
God is with me.

In my confusion,
my wondering,
my questioning,
my doubting,
my disappointment.
In my certainty
of what to do,
and my realisation
that is not the right way.

God is here,
within
and around.

God is here
however I am feeling.
He is holding,
guiding,
reassuring,
pointing me
his way.

God is with me.
God is with us.

What a faithful God!

Faithful One

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Joseph #adventbookclub – Day 28

The Birth of Jesus

18 This is how Jesus Christ was born. A young woman named Mary was engaged to Joseph from King David’s family. But before they were married, she learned that she was going to have a baby by God’s Holy Spirit. 19 Joseph was a good manand did not want to embarrass Mary in front of everyone. So he decided to quietly call off the wedding.

20 While Joseph was thinking about this, an angel from the Lord came to him in a dream. The angel said, “Joseph, the baby that Mary will have is from the Holy Spirit. Go ahead and marry her. 21 Then after her baby is born, name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

22 So the Lord’s promise came true, just as the prophet had said, 23 “A virgin will have a baby boy, and he will be called Immanuel,” which means “God is with us.”

Surely, for Joseph to discover his betrothed is pregnant, there is only one conclusion to draw.  And it can’t have been a pleasant experience to have to do so.

The woman you loved, who you thought you were going to make a future with, and yes, have a family with, is now pregnant – and you know it is nothing to do with you.  But Joseph, kindly, doesn’t want to humiliate Mary further, to make her already embarrassing situation even worse.  So he decides to just quietly call things off, for the wedding just never to happen.

Mary knew she was going to have a baby “by God’s Holy Spirit”, but Joseph didn’t know that.

The BBC broadcast an amazing version of The Nativity a couple of years ago.  That showed Joseph having a real dilemma.  He loved Mary, but could not come to terms with what he assumed she had done.  He gave her a real hard time about it, over a sustained period of time.

Then God comes to him, reassured him that Mary has done nothing wrong, and lets him in on his plan.  This is the one who is going to save people – all people.  And God needs Joseph to be a part of that.

I can’t begin to imagine what Joseph’s feelings on that were.  He knew it was nothing to do with another man.  He realised that Mary was blameless in it all.  But…

I wonder if Joseph thought it was nothing to do with him?  Just something between God and Mary, of which he had no part?

Or perhaps he didn’t feel up to the task of raising God’s son, the responsibility of having him in his life?

But he does.  He listens to God’s word and he takes on the task God is calling him to.  To support Mary, to welcome God into his home.

Maggi sums up the Christmas story for me (p125)

God became like us, so we could become like him

just wow!

Joseph was big enough to let God into his life, into his family, into his home – that the same thing may be possible for us.

Thank you Lord
for the bravery of Joseph,
open to hear your call,
even when it seemed
naive,
potentially embarrassing,
quite outside the “right” thing.

May I be so brave,
so welcoming,
so open;
that you may come
and live in my heart,
home
and life

God With Us – Emmanuel

This year, several of us are reading Beginnings and Endings by Maggi Dawn and joining together to comment on it.  Do join us at the Adventbookclub Facebook page, follow #adventbookclub on Twitter or comment below.  If you are also reading and blogging on this book, let me know and I will link to your blog.

Forgiveness in Action

I’m sure many of us are familiar with the musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (No idea why it uses that spelling of colour, but there you go!).  Many of us have probably sung it in some form or other – we used to sing it in music lessons at school.

The musical ends at the point of Joseph’s joyful reunion with his father, Jacob

(and who can ever resist some Donny Osmond!)

But this weeks Old Testament passage picks up after that, after Jacob has died:

Genesis 50:15-21

Joseph Reassures His Brothers

 15 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?” 16 So they sent word to Joseph, saying, “Your father left these instructions before he died: 17‘This is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly.’ Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father.” When their message came to him, Joseph wept.

 18 His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. “We are your slaves,” they said.

 19 But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. 21 So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.

The brothers are worried that now their father has died, Joseph will get his own back on them for all the terrible things they did to him, and so they beg him to forgive them.

I’m not sure I could have been so generous, but Joseph sees the bigger picture, and he sees the God who holds it.  He is able to see how God has worked, despite what has happened to him.

He realises that he is no one to judge them.  Perhaps he remembers the things he has got wrong in his own life…

He lives out the forgiveness that he knows in his own life by letting go of those things that his brothers have done wrong against him.

Can we?

By the Providence Lithograph Company (http://thebiblerevival.com/clipart/1907/gen45.jpg) [Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons”]

Lord,

help me to let go

of all those wrongs

I feel have been done to me.

Help me to see you,

and feel your forgiveness in my life,

and live out that forgiveness

towards others