Mary and Joseph
Rev. Dr. Richard Howell
God's best servants are often ordinary people available to Him. Mary and Joseph stand in the line of women and men whose pursuit of upright living meant taking risk, misunderstanding and ridicule. Mary willingly agreed when the angel of the Lord announced, that by the creative power of God she will conceive a child who would be God's promised Saviour. Mary told Joseph, with whom she was engaged to be married, about her pregnancy. On hearing this mind-boggling news, he decided to break the engagement, but did not want to cause public shame to her.
"But as Joseph considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: "Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call His name Immanuel" which means, God with us. When Joseph woke from his sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus." The meaning of Jesus is "the LORD saves."
Joseph knew Jesus was God come in the flesh to save humans from sin and its consequence. His strong belief in this fact, and his willingness to follow God's leading, empowered him to be Jesus' chosen earthly father. Following God's will often means embracing people others reject, as Joseph embraced Mary. God honours integrity.
(As appeared in THE SUNDAY GUARDIAN, 19th December 2010 Edition)