Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Matthew 1:18-25: 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 from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel” (which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.
Put yourself in Joseph's shoes. Mary tells him that she's pregnant. The father of the child is God, the Father of us all. You wouldn't know what to think. Joseph doesn't know what to think. You would be hurt, betrayed. You would feel rejection. You can't trust her. Joseph needs time to sort all of this out. All of this is too far fetched. You want to believe your fiancee. Joseph wants to believe Mary. You want to walk away. You can walk away. Joseph wants to also. He doesn't know how.
Engagement in Joseph's time is different. When you were "betrothed" to another, you were considered married until the actual marriage date. Joseph had to divorce Mary. That would create public scandal for him and Mary. For Mary, she could be stoned to death for the affair. Yet Joseph still loved Mary enough to consider an alternate path to divorce that did not put her life at risk.
Then God said via the angel, "Stay with Mary. She did not stray. She did not have an affair with any man. Mary told you the truth how she became pregnant. You can still trust her. Believe her, Joseph. It's all true. It's real. And you will name Him, Jesus. Marry her. She is the love of your life." And Joseph did.
God spoke, Joseph believed. God speaks to you. Do you believe? God changed Joseph's heart and mind. God can change yours, too. God can bring you His comfort and peace so that you believe, trust, and love because of baby Jesus. Want to know more? Do you have questions? Reply and let's get a dialogue started. God lead us to trust and love You more, Amen.
Pastor Robert Hemsath joined Faith Lutheran Church and School as the Senior Pastor in January 2017. Pastor Hemsath comes to FLC from Christ the King Lutheran Church in Waxahachie, TX. He has also served congregations in Aberdeen, ID and Pocatello, ID. He has been a Lutheran pastor for the past 20 years.