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.” Matthew 1:20-21 NIV
Advent Chronicles – Joseph. Betrothed to Mary, he would raise Jesus as his own son. Little is written about this man, but his character was woven into the Savior that we call Jesus. What might have been his thoughts after the dream?
I am not a man of many words, I work with my hands. That does not mean that I do not have meaningful thoughts or that I lack deep understanding about the ways of Yahweh. It’s that I appreciate creating things with my hands mostly.
It was less than a year ago, the Mary and I entered into the first act of Jewish marriage called erusin or betrothal. This is a type of engagement in which we are considered married, but Mary would live with her parents during that year. We were expected to follow all of the Jewish laws regarding sexual purity. I would be busy finishing our home.
I am known as a carpenter, but I work with stone, metal and wood. My father taught me the trade and I excelled in my craftsmanship. I can build a home from the foundation up. Foundation built upon a solid rock is very important. My speciality among the local builders is making the cornerstone from which the rest of the house is made. If you get that rock positioned well, the rest of the house will go up straight. Sweat and hard work gives an honest reward at the end of the day. Knowing that I have accomplished my task, gives me the satisfaction that “it is finished.”
I work six days a week as the Torah allows. The Sabbath is for rest and connecting with Yahweh. I love to hear the stories, I am named after Joseph who had the coat of many colors. He was Jacob’s favorite son. When I was young, I wanted to be brave and do heroic deeds like my great, great. great….great grandfather King David. Even now, his name is held in high honor and respect. One day, I will be the one to tell my children of the great and marvelous works of Yahweh for our ancestors.
My beautiful wife is pregnant, NOT by me. We have never known each other in that way yet. That is improper and just down right wrong. I love her so much, I can not lead her through the embarrassment. I want to divorce her quietly, to make no big deal about it. But that child is not mine.
Last night I had a dream. I don’t have dreams very often, nor do I have great spiritual insights. I mainly dream about building things. I draw the design and then make it. But last night was different. It was almost like I was awake because it was so clear.
A man, no he was almost glowing like the glory of God that rested upon Moses in the desert. He knew exactly what was on my heart and the things that were weighing me down. He 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.”
He called ME, son of David. When he spoke to me like that, I felt courage rise up within my bones. I knew I had to act soon, so it would minimize the talk about Mary. She will come to my house for a few days, but she said that she wants to go see her cousin Elizabeth, who even in her old age is with child. I will be busy finishing Mary’s, no, I should say our baby’s room while she is gone.
So I am going to Mary’s parents to ask for my bride to come and live with me now. We will host a small ceremony called nissu’in to satisfy the legal requirements. I am a little excited. Mary makes some of the best bread and lentils. I am anxious for her to make our first meal together in our home.
The angel said it will be a boy and we are to call him Jesus. I don’t understand what the next phrase meant, “he will save the people from the sins”, but I believe He will be a special child. Do you think others will know my son, Jesus?
Advent Chronicles, Joseph
You can read about others in the Christmas story at Pastorgregonline.com