Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: "Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel," which means, "God is with us." When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus.
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Someone asked today what is one of gifts of this season. I was in a class of mature women doing group physical therapy and most had little positive to say about this cold, dark time period. After reading this passage, I am struck with how the authors of the Bible go to great lengths to show Jesus lineage and then this passage conveys a great mystery and reality. Jesus is the son of God, not Joseph and God inspires Joseph to parent Jesus as if Jesus was born of him.
We can take bad news, or challenging news such as an unexpected pregnancy, or cold weather or snow storms or darkness as unwanted news, or we can look for the gifts within these and adopt the gifts rather than the burdens.
Gifts of the season..briskness, the smell of fires in fireplaces, music, snowflakes, mittens, hot cocoa, sharing hearts, friends, most relatives.