Advent 8: Joseph’s dilemma

Poor Joseph. To discover that his fiancee was pregnant ahead of their marriage must have turned his world upside down. Who was the father? Why had she been unfaithful? What would everyone think? Mary knew (see Luke 1) what was happening, but one wonders how her explanation might have sounded to Joseph. Did she try to explain? Did he listen? How did he react?

The marriage could not go ahead. The engagement would have to be broken off, but Joseph, a kind and honourable man, would take care of things in a way that would avoid Mary being put to shame.

That was the plan, but before it happened, Joseph had his own angelic visitation (there seemed to be a lot of them around in the nativity stories!).

‘Joseph, son of David’ – that’s what he called him – a pretty noble title: ‘don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife.’

And he explained it to him.

God was at work. This had been brought about through the Holy Spirit (Mary had been told the same thing – see Luke 1). And this child would be remarkable. Joseph’s son would be called Jesus for he would save his people from their sins.

In faith and obedience, the wedding went ahead and the child was born.

And his name was Jesus.

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