Summary: A sermon 4th Sunday in Advent A sermon about Joseph

4 Sunday Advent

Matthew 1:18-25

"A Blender for Christmas"

18* Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit;

19* and her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.

20* But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit;

21* she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins."

22* All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:

23* "Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel" (which means, God with us).

24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took his wife,

25* but knew her not until she had borne a son; and he called his name Jesus.

Grace and peace to you from our Lord and Saviour, Jesus who is the Christ. Amen

A many of years ago for Christmas we received a blender from my brother and his wife as a Christmas present. A blender is a very useful item in the kitchen, as it can make bread crumbs for that great Italian disk eggplant or it can make some great drinks by mixing various juices together, or it can make sauces for meats and vegetables. Blenders are very useful for mixing things together, or they can be used to make food that is difficult to swallow easier say for babies or older people who have a . difficult time eating. A blender mixes items so much that the various items cannot be distinguished one from another after they have.been blended.

God sent the world a blender--.Jesus. In him God and man, divinity and humanity, were so perfectly blended that no one can separate the human and divine natures in him. Jesus is all human and all God, perfectly blended into one integrated personality, a God-man.

Our gospel lesson this morning ,deals with this fact as it tells the story of Joseph and his struggle with his brothed being with child. We need to understand the Jewish courtship to understand what was happening. A Jewish couple is engaged as very young children by their parents. As they grow up they get to know one another, and if they like each other, then the engagement is still on. After some time, the betrothed period takes place, the man takes the woman to his house to live together under one roof, but without all the benefits of marriage for about one year to see if they can get along, then after this period the marriage ceremony is conducted and the

couple become truly husband and wife.

So you can see Joseph knew this child was not his, he was upset, but being a kind and gentle man he wasn’t going to publicly hurt Mary by divorcing her publicly, but

would hand1e it very quietly since that was also a right of a Jewish man As Joseph was weighing all of this he has a vision an angel explains that Mary’s child was from God and would be given the name of Jesus will save the people from their sins. After this vision, Joseph did as the angel commanded because he was a religious man, kept Mary as his betrothed, and eventually married her and named the child she was carrying Jesus.

Of all the characters in the Christmas Story, I can relate to Joseph the best. Who ever gives him any credit? From the biblical record he is the most nondescript person you will ever find. Why, even his identity with his son is lost. Most Jewish boys were called son of Joseph, as in Matthew’s gospel when Jesus was referring to Peter at the time of Peter’s great confession of faith, he said, "Peter bar Jonah," Or Peter son of Jonah, but what about Jesus himself, in our hymn of the day; the last line of the 1st verse says "Haste, haste to bring him laud, the babe, the Son of Mary." Son of Mary, not son of Joseph. He might not of bore him, but he helped raise him, he was a son in the sense that Joseph trained him in the skills of a carpenter.

Besides having a problem with the marriage and not having the right to name the child, you can see why Joseph is a very upset about all that has happened. But as a religious man, you need to give him credit for going along with the wishes of the angel. He followed through.

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