Summary: Christmas or Advent message about the birth of Jesus

You Believe in Miracles?” Joseph-- {Eyewitness of his Majesty}

“My name is Joseph; you know my wife better; she is much more famous than I. I’m the lesser half some might say. We were very average people--at least in the beginning, until all the attention. We were from a small tribe lived in a small town and we were poor and powerless. No, actually we were below average if you refer to social class and economic means. We lived in a small town with a poor reputation, called Nazareth. People made fun of Nazarenes--our offbeat accent and our backward ways. People would say--”nothing good ever comes out of Nazareth.”

My father, (Jacob) was a carpenter, so I became a carpenter too. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been around wood. If you’ve been around wood, you know what I mean; wood has personality, it can be turned into wonderful shapes and tones; it has a special smell, especially when there are shavings under your feet and sawdust in your hair. We had to do everything from scratch--we even cut our own wood. now, finding good wood in Nazareth was often a challenge--we have Olive trees and Palm? tress and sycamore trees and especially the cedars of Lebanon--that was our favourite wood for household furniture. Being poor and remote, most of our customers couldn’t afford cedar--except for the Romans. The Romans, I could tell you stories about them, but lets just say, they were unwelcome guests in our nation. We Israelites are very proud and protective of our God given land--we called it our promised land because Abraham our father made a covenant with Jehovah.

Yes, wood, Mary and I love wood--we made our living from wood, but more than that we found our identity in wood and we gave that wood a place in many peoples lives. when people think of Joseph-- they think of wood.

O yes, forgive me, this is my wife Mary,

Mary and I met through our parents (confirm), as our culture dictates I was considerably older than Mary (_____), but I loved her dearly and she loved me too. Over the years our love deepened.

when we got engaged it was a wonderful day--the whole town--all 500? people ran out to celebrate--people passed comments around--”O what a perfect couple” “.....)

in our culture, engagement is always for one year--it is a very formal affair sealed with a written declaration and sometimes accompanied with a small gift.

the engagement is so binding, it can only be broken by divorce.. infidelity during engagement was regarded as adultery. and no sexual relations between the couple were permitted during the engagement period.

We were busy planning our wedding and I had to build a house for us to live in. We wanted plenty of children so I had to build it plenty big.

Everything was going so well, I was as happy as could be, until one day,... Mary came to see me. looking very anxious, ...

“ Joseph, we have to talk”

I knew that look and that tone of voice, so, I immediately put down my hammer, placed the wood on the floor any sat down...I found a place to sit among the plies of fresh cut lumber and Mary dropped the bombshell!

“Joseph, I don’t quite know how to say this, so here goes.”

“what is it Mary”

well...I had a visitor the other day.

yes, who was it, someone congratulating you on your marriage to the most eligible bachelor in all of Israel!?

Well, not exactly. Joseph, you know how we always follow the ways of God, and you know God does unusual things at times.

yes, like the time he made the sun stand still for Joshua! or the time he parted the red sea! or the time he closed the mouths of the lions and Daniel was not harmed...

that’s right that’s exactly what I mean. remember how we sometimes say, why doesn’t something miraculous like that happen today, and why not right here in Nazareth.

*Do you believe in miracles?”

now Mary, I don’t think God would ever do something that amazing in Nazareth, Mary. Nazareth is the end of the earth! even the romans despise Nazareth!

we are just a village of 100 people!

“Joseph, remember Abraham and Sarah, remember how God appeared (gen 18:12) to them and told them they would have a son.”

“yes, of course Mary, that’s where we Jews could from--we even sing about that--father Abraham has many sons, many sons had father Abraham, and I am one of them...”

OK, now Joseph, listen to me-- “I had an angel visit me”

you did!~ what did he say!

he said I'm going to have a baby!

that’s great... when we get married and settle down, we can start our family!

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