“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).” Matthew 1:23
Let´s look to Joseph’s story today. Joseph would not be the father of Jesus even though, as Mary´s betrothed, Jesus would be legally identified as his son (Luke 3:23; 4:22; John 1:45; 6:42). Joseph wasn’t in an easy position. He was a just man, which we can see by the way he behaves when he finds out Mary is pregnant. He doesn’t want to put her to shame and, instead, resolved to divorce her quietly.
Of course, the man who was the head of the household where Jesus would grow up had to be a good man! He had no idea what had happened. He only knew that Mary, his Mary, was carrying a baby and that he was not the father. Yet, he didn’t want to bring any shame to her. That speaks volumes about the kind of man he was.
When he was thinking about all of this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream to calm his heart and tell him what to do. The angel explained everything and Joseph, a faithful man, believed that Mary was pregnant with the Messiah. Joseph also understood that he had been chosen to play a significant role in this part of God’s plan. He was an obedient man, He trusted God as much as Mary did, and he and was willing to do his part in the Redemption story.
Immanuel, God with us. The child born as the bridge between God and humanity.
God is with You. Maybe this is a bittersweet Christmas for you. You may be far away from your loved ones. Maybe you have to work while everybody else is on vacation. Or maybe you will eat your Christmas dinner at a hospital, facing a bad diagnosis. Whatever your circumstances, God is with you. Meditate on Immanuel, the baby in the manger and celebrate His coming with joy.
Heavenly Father, You are always with me. There is no place where I´m alone, no time when You don´t hold my hand. No matter what my circumstances are right now, help me rejoice and celebrate the birth of Jesus. Amen.
My favorite Christmas song: “Oh Come, Oh Come Emmanuel”
Oh come, oh come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to you O Israel!
Emmanuel: God is with us. God’s promise that He is present, and dwells with His people and will keep and protect them.
I just had to sing that!