From the Pastor’s Desk
“The birth of Jesus took place like this. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. Before they came to the marriage bed, Joseph discovered she was pregnant. (It was by the Holy Spirit, but he didn’t know that.) Joseph chagrined but noble, determined to take care of things quietly so Mary would not be disgraced. While he was trying to figure a way out, he had a dream. God’s angel spoke in the dream: “Joseph, son of David, don’t hesitate to get married. Mary’s pregnancy is Spirit-conceived. God’s Holy Spirit has made her pregnant. She will bring a son to birth, and when she does, you, Joseph, will name Him Jesus – ‘God saves’ – because He will save His people from their sins.” This would bring the prophet’s embryonic sermon to full term: Watch for this – a virgin will get pregnant and bear a son; they will name Him Immanuel (Hebrew for “God is with us”). Then Joseph woke up. He did exactly what God’s angel commanded in the dream: He married Mary. But he did not consummate the marriage until she had the baby. He named the baby Jesus.” Matthew 1:18-25(The Message)
The Minnesota Vikings football team started their season with 5 straight wins and Super Bowl talk filled the air. Then the team suffered 4 losses, taking some of the air out of their brand new TFC Bank Stadium. I am not a Vikings fan, but what head coach Mike Zimmer said after loss #4 caught my attention. He said something to this effect, “We are going through some bad times, but the sun will rise in the morning.” Life in general can resemble Vikings football in more ways than one.
I wonder if this is how Joseph may have felt the day he found out his betrothed, Mary, was with child. Our Scripture passage tells us that he was chagrined (disappointed) but noble. Joseph was feeling like a 5-0 football team one day and that same day upon hearing that his betrothed wife was with child instantly made him feel like he had suffered 4 straight disappointing losses. The reason for this was because there was to be no sexual intimacy during a Jewish betrothal and Joseph’s actions clearly indicate that he knew the child was not his. The consummation of the marriage took place later in the betrothal when the bridegroom would arrive unannounced to get his anticipating betrothed wife.
That night Joseph tried to figure a way out of this “bad time” as he thought. It was during the night in a dream that God’s angel spoke to Joseph revealing to him the plan of God. Again Joseph’s actions tell us that when the sun rose that next morning he was ready to welcome the rising of the sun with a whole new perspective. Joseph did exactly as God’s angel commanded him to, married Mary, waited to consummate the marriage until after the baby was born and he named the baby Jesus.
“From the rising of the sun to its setting the name of the Lord is to be praised.” Psalm 113:3