“This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet, did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. 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. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ (which means “God with us”). When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.” Matthew 1:18‐25
Dear Family & Friends,
Yesterday, I was peering out our front window and saw our neighbor with his seven year old son. He was teaching him how to catch a football ‐ one throw became ten as he threw the ball again and again and again. Finally, his son caught the ball! You could see his smile on his face from a mile away and the jumping up and down that soon followed. Yes, that was one of the priceless moments that T.V. commercials are made of. But, I thought of it as an intimate exchange between a father and son.
As we are approaching the holiday season, I found myself thinking about the role that Joseph took with his son Jesus. Joseph was a regular “Joe”, a blue‐collar carpenter. I could imagine him with callused hands and after a day’s work watch the equivalent to the
NFL of those days. As we look at the text we don’t see very much about Joe. We do know that he loved Mary and he was engaged to her. We also know that Joe struggled with knowing that Mary was pregnant and he was not involved. In Matthew chapter 1 verse 19,
we can begin to see Joe’s character emerge. It reads, “Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet, did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.” Can you imagine his predicament? How can Mary do this to me? I was faithful to her! What will my family and friends think?
Joe must have had many sleepless nights, yet the story goes on to say, “ . . . 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. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,
because he will save his people from their sins.”
I love Joe – just when you begin to think he is down and out, Joe rises to the challenge. He said, YES! In spite, of his fears and embarrassment, he said, YES! In spite of being hunted down by Herod’s lynch men, Joe said, YES! In spite of the fact that Mary would give birth to his son amongst cows, chickens, sheep and their excrements, Joe said, YES! This regular Joe said YES, to irregular circumstances, challenges and conventional wisdom.
I believe that is why I love the characters of the scriptures. God in his wisdom and grace
chooses to use the “regular Joes” to share his love to the world. What would the Christmas story be without Joe? That is a lot hinging on a regular guy. But, that is the God we serve – he chooses to utilize anyone who is willing. You don’t have to be the best, the prettiest, the smartest, the wealthiest or the most talented. You just need to be obedient and say YES! What we don’t know about Joe really doesn’t matter in comparison to what we do know. More importantly, what we do know about our God is that He loves us so much that He used a “regular Joe and Mary” to bring his son into the world for us.
Every day, City Impact shares God’s love to children, youth and families. This Christmas, would you please consider saying, YES to making a sacrificial donation to help City Impact continue to do so? We truly appreciated your love, support and prayers throughout this past year – it has made a difference in many, many lives.
Betty Alvarez Ham