Summary: There is not much said about Joseph, husband of Mary, but what is said shows us humility and willingness to follow God.
Are you ready for Christmas
I suppose you have heard that question many times already. What people really mean by that is Did you finish your shopping? Did you mail out all your cards? Did you make out your calendar of where you are going and when? We call this the Christmas rush, it becomes a very hectic time, that we forget what the season is really all about.
Illustration of little girl pushed aside. (from Melvin Newland, who also gave me the idea for this sermon). She was a sweet little girl who is very inquisitive. Reminded me of little girl I know from Indiana named Lavolia. She has to be in the middle of things, always asking "Why?" This little girl watched her parents into the "Christmas Rush." Her dad busy with bills and bundles, Mom busy with cakes and party planning. The little girl wanted to help but all she heard was, "Will you get out of the way?" That night she prayed "Our Father who art in heaven, forgive us our christmases as we forgive those who christmas against us."
Sometimes in the rush of things we just can’t get into the Christmas spirit. Lets look at God’s word in how he got everything ready for Christmas.
This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
MT 1:20 But after he had considered 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 home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,n because he will save his people from their sins."
MT 1:22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"n --which means, "God with us."
MT 1:24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
Joseph is a very quiet Biblical character. He does not get much attention, as a matter of fact he only gets mentioned one time after the birth narratives of Matthew and Luke, and that is when Jesus is at the Temple 3 days. Yet he is a very significant Bible character. You see he had the job of raising Jesus. He can teach us a lot about attitudes, and attitudes can make or break the Christmas spirit.
The first attitude we must have is:
Be ready to accept God’s will whatever it may be
1. Joseph had a plan for his life; simple life of a carpenter, marry Mary, have a family and be a good and righteous man
2. But God had another plan
a. Mary was to be the mother of the Messiah
b. The announcement of Mary having a baby must have been a shocker for Joseph. Look at Luke 1:39-56, Mary left Nazareth after being told by the angel Gabriel she was going to have a baby who would be the MESSIAH. She stays in Jerusalem with her cousin Elizabeth for three months. After which she comes home and announces to Joseph that she is pregnant, and her baby is the Son of God. Now I could imagine Joseph at this point, being very human, saying "yeah right." I could imagine that Joseph was very upset.
i. How could Mary, whom he waited so long for do this to him
ii. The bond between them was broken
iii. He was disappointed.
c. Sometimes life hands us lemons, sometimes things happen and we cry out WHY
d. When all else fails, follow Joseph’s example and TRUST GOD. Joseph could have had Mary turned in for adultery. This would have brought the death sentence on her. Yet even in all his pain, he sought to forgive by having the marriage contract set aside quietly. But God intervened.
e. God says your ways are not my ways and your thoughts are not my thoughts. We need to trust him that it will all work out. “All things work for good for those who love the Lord and keep his commandments.
Our second attitude is