Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Nativity Twist

As Christmas approached this year, everybody was talking about Jesus's birth and the nativity.  It's customary during this time of the year for preachers to speak on these particular scriptures in the bible.  I have to confess, I said to myself, preaching on the Nativity Story again, but  God always manages to breathe life into the nativity story for me afresh every year.  This year wasn't any different.  Just as I was about to think that I couldn't possibly glean any other wisdom from this story, God breathed life into it afresh once again for me.

Matthew 1

Matthew 1:18-21

New King James Version (NKJV)

Christ Born of Mary

18 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. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. 20 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. 21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

Most of us know this story, but I want to focus on Joseph for a bit.  As I was thinking about what happened here, I thought about what Joseph must have been feeling as a man.  Think about it, you are engaged to marry this woman.  You are excited, not only about the marriage but also about being intimate with her.  You are excited about starting a new life together, starting a family.  Then she comes up pregnant.  Everybody talking and whispering.  Now I'm sure Mary tried to tell Joseph what had happened to her and what the angel said to her.  But I'm sure it was pretty hard to believe.  But the bible says "he thought about these things".  I want to focus here for a second, because Joseph knew the prophecy about Jesus, he was Jewish and he knew the scriptures.  I'm almost sure he was thinking about the scripture below:
Isaiah 7:14
Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.

, it says
As Joseph was thinking on these things  an angel 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. 21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

Imagine what Joseph felt when he realized this scripture was going to be fulfilled through him and Mary.  He had read about this all his life and knew this was going to happen and here God is saying, not only is it happening, but it's happening to you.  Wow!  I imagine, Joseph started to bubble up with excitement and nervousness at the same time.  I imagine excitement was the overwhelming feeling.  I'm sure Joseph never thought God would use him in such a way.  As I think about it I'm overwhelmed, like "wow, God is going to use us to bring forth the Savior".  I pray you receive this today, because we have a place in this nativity story.  There are some of us, that know and love the Word of God, some of us that believe what God says will happen, will actually happen.  God is saying right now, this is going to happen to you.  I think about husbands,  I'm seeing the Lord comforting husbands concerning their wife's purpose and calling.  I see the Lord saying to husbands "don't be afraid of it, it's from me".  I see husbands being comforted in the same way Joseph was comforted here.  Joseph was told by the angel, "do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife." What is the Lord telling husbands not to be afraid of right now, concerning their wives.  There was a purpose being birth in Joseph and Mary's marriage before they were even married.  The same is true of many Christian couples.   But I believe some husbands become fearful about what might be happening with their wives, especially when it comes to God.  But I trust God will comfort them in a strong way, just as He did with Joseph.  Because we are still bringing the Savior to people today through different gifts, ministries, and purposes.  The appointed time came for Mary and Joseph.  It wasn't a convenient time or a convenient thing but it was an "appointed time".  Know that for all of us as Christian, married couples; there will come a time where God will impregnate the wife with something and God will expect you to bring it forth as a couple.   Remember women get pregnant, men don't.  Women give birth men don't.  But men have a very important role to play. 

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