Friday, December 19, 2014

A Christmas Miracle

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins." So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which is translated, "God with us." Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name JESUS. Matthew 1:18-25 (NKJV)

Wow…sometimes it just doesn’t pay to wake up and face the world. One can only imagine what Joseph was feeling when he found out that Mary was pregnant. What kind of girl was he engaged to? She had always seems so pure, so good, so Godly…and now, his teen-aged bride to be was pregnant. The questions that must have been running through his mind. How could she do this to him? When had she started sleeping around? Who was the father?

We all know the rest of the story, but for a moment in time, Joseph was beside himself saddled with the emotions of anger, sorrow and confusion. He was obviously off track in his thinking, but who in their right mind would ever guess the truth? Who could even write such a preposterous story where a chaste girl is spontaneously pregnant? 

In every life there are situations where we are confused, because we are asking the wrong questions, based on the wrong assumptions that we are so sure of. Years ago, I was preparing my Christmas Sermon, and I asked a number of people this question: “What does Christmas mean to you?” I finally went the Art Linkletter route and asked a child this question. The child happened to be my daughter, Gina, who was 5 years old at the time. “Gina, what does Christmas mean to you?” Her reaction was unexpected… She looked distressed, her eyes filled with tears and her little chin began to quiver. Finally she spoke through the tears. “Daddy, Christmas isn’t mean to me.” Sometimes, it is amazing how misconstrued and misunderstood are the situations of our lives. We think we know what is going on, but, somehow we completely missed it.

God sent an angel to Joseph to set the record straight concerning Mary. The angel just showed up in Joseph’s dream world and began to talk and answered the questions that Joseph had been kicking around. Joseph found out that Mary was pure, she had not been sleeping around, and that the Father of this child was God, the Holy Spirit. In other words, it was a miracle…a Christmas miracle! “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel, “ which is translated, “God with us.”

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