This is part 4 of the Christmas story. If you’ve missed any, you can read the rest here.
One main character I haven’t written about yet is Joseph. Mary told him about the pregnancy and he was distraught. The obvious conclusion was that she’d been with another man, which would have caused a real scandal. Joseph cared deeply about Mary’s reputation. Being legally bound to her, he considered divorcing her quietly, presumably to allow her to marry the father of her child, but an angel visited him in a dream and explained things. “Joseph, descendant of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because the baby in her is from the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 1:20). Joseph received direction from God in several dreams, and as my pastor pointed out, God also provided the means for him to follow these instructions. The Magi came with gold, frankincense and myrrh when, unbeknown to Joseph, he was just about to take his family to Egypt for quite some time and would have needed those gifts to finance their trip.
The Christmas song that’s touched me most this year is “Joseph’s Song” by Michael Card. It’s a prayer that Joseph might have prayed:
“Father, show me where I fit into this plan of Yours;
“How can a man be father to the Son of God?
“LORD, for all my life I’ve been a simple carpenter;
“How can I raise a King, how can I raise a King?”
I’m certain we aren’t all called to father the Son of God, but at times, our callings will overwhelm us all, and what’s overwhelming to one person will seem small and insignificant to someone else. We can’t rely on other people to get us through when we’re weak and seem to have reached the end of ourselves, but there is One we can rely on. “I can do all things through Christ, because He gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13). Sometimes He puts other people in our lives to share our problems and help us, but when those people aren’t there, He always is.
Has the run-up to this Christmas week left you sapped of strength? It’s not too late to ask God for refreshment. “But the people who trust the Lord will become strong again. They will rise up as an eagle in the sky; they will run and not need rest; they will walk and not become tired” (Isaiah 40:31).