Monday, August 11, 2014

a working man's faith

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."

Matthew 1:20

To read elements of the Christmas story near the end of the summer seems a shock to the "traditional" ecclesiastical calendar. I'm so used to not giving the account much thought until at least after Thanksgiving in November! But this is much more than a holiday tradition! The story of Jesus is the central truth of Christianity.

I am reminded of the humanity of Jesus, particularly in the telling of Joseph's story. He was a good man. He had an excellent reputation. He was a working man, engaged to a young woman who is caught up without warning in history's greatest invasion... God coming to earth to set this place in order.

His reaction at the news of Mary's pregnancy is a convincing detail of the veracity of the story. He had not had sex with her. She should not be with child. His options were to ignore this and go on with the marriage, knowingly taking responsibility for raising another man's child, or privately getting out of the arrangements. God's intervention helped Joseph accept that it was the righteous thing to marry her after all.

Joseph believes God after the angelic dream. He marries his betrothed and with her names Mary's child Jesus, believing a Savior has come. That working man's faith is still what it takes to accept Who Jesus is even today.

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