Our scripture this morning is ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭1‬:‭18‬-‭25‬.

This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. Joseph, to whom she was engaged, was a righteous man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly. As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet: “Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’” When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife. But he did not have sexual relations with her until her son was born. And Joseph named him Jesus.

God’s plan to save us was fulfilled by the coming of Jesus. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit to Mary and her fiancé Joseph and born as a human child, but a very special one. This miraculous birth had implications for His human parents that required them to put their faith above societal issues.

In this passage Joseph becomes aware of Mary’s pregnancy. In that time and culture there were harsh consequences for this, but rather than making her a public spectacle, he reacted with compassion. However, he is called to do more than that when an angel of the Lord brings him a message.

God called Joseph and Mary to a ministry of caring that is an example for all God’s children. They had a choice and they chose to obey God, and their acceptance of that responsibility has allowed us to make a choice as well. May we all choose to let Jesus into our hearts as they did, during this season of Advent and always.

Gracious God, in Your mercy You sent Jesus to save us from our sin. Bless us to go in Your name to tell the world the Good News that our Messiah has come. Amen.

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