Summary: 2nd sermon in a series on Christmas.
Last Sunday our story of the birth of Jesus has it very beginning. It began when young Mary said yes to God and would see her entire earthly life change. But it was that yes to God that opened our story to fulfill prophesy’s of old and allowed it to unfold through out eternity.
The best I can tell Joseph was a young man. Religiously; he obeyed the Jewish law. Hard working and able to make a home for his future wife. He was primarily a carpenter but as all independent businessmen he would work with other things such as a mason, working with rocks and other things, to make money. As a matter of what was happening at the time. I would say he was building a place for them to make a home during this period of engagement. Engagement that lasted about 6 months to a year.
Working hard during the day. Working hard on making a home for Mary and himself at night. Dreaming of Mary all the time and the children they would have that would carry on the family name and to provide for Mary when he had past away.
I can see him light up when he would see Mary as she traveled around their small village working and sometimes playing with the other girls. He would be so excited to see her later when they could talk and dream together about their future.
Mary goes to visit relative after the visit from Gods Angel, they were to be the parents of John the Baptist, and after a short stay she returns home. Its not long before everyone can see she is with child. In the small village the word passes fast. She becomes someone to them that should be stoned, should be an outcast, that has sinned.
Now when Mary turns up pregnant. Joseph only knows one thing for sure. He’s not the father.
What words describe a man at a time like this? Anger . . . Confusion . . . Frustration . . . Embarrassment . . . Shame . . . Rage . . . Disappointment. What did he say to her? What did she say to him? Did she tell him about the angel Gabriel? If she did, can you blame him for not believing her?
Did he say to her, “Mary, how could you? You were pledged to me. We were going to get married. I was going to build a little house for us in Nazareth. Mary, Mary, how could you do this? Why, Mary, why? I kept myself for you. Why couldn’t you keep yourself for me?” (1)
I think Joseph cried harder that day than he had ever cried in his life. His soul was being ripped out of his body. He was exhausted, he was lost and he didn't know what to do. Finally he wanted to put her away (divorce her) privately. Yes that's what he would do. To try to ease the blunt force of what had happened. He cared for her even now and didn't want any harm but one things was for sure. It wasn't his baby.
20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.