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Sin – our misbehaviour – really has wrecked our world. You’ve seen this on this news; you’ve felt it in your own life. You remember the wrong which people have done to you. What’s it been? Disloyalty? Lies? Bullying? Abuse? Theft? Cruelty? Unfaithfulness? There’s one man in the Christmas story who probably felt the last one: Mary’s husband-to-be.
Joseph was engaged to Mary at the time she fell pregnant. He knew he wasn’t the father of the unborn child, so he also knew what he had to do: break up with her. No doubt he felt huge upset about this. If you’ve been through the ending of a relationship, you’ll understand something of Joseph’s thoughts and emotions. However, although he wasn’t to blame, he didn’t take it out on Mary. As you’ll know if you’ve read the passage above, he refused to turn the break-up into a public row. It was all to be done quietly.
But Joseph was stopped in his tracks. It was made plain to him that he was to marry Mary as planned and love this child as his own. He was told that the baby was no ordinary son but “God with us.” Joseph was convinced. Though it was an event he would never had expected, he believed that Jesus’ conception was miraculous. In Jesus God was coming to his people to save them from their sins.
Joseph knew the need of this. He had felt the pain of a troubled world. He had battled in his own life to live the right way. Others saw him as good man. But he knew our need of a saviour. What he was told made perfect sense. We need God’s intervention if life is ever to be repaired.