Characters of Christmas Series-is a sermon series that I am doing each Sunday in Advent dressed in character done as a dramatic monologue.
Characters of Christmas: Joseph’s Journey-Dec. 22, 2013 a.m.
I had so many plans of what I was going to do with my life. I would like to work in the family business and people knew the good work my family did. Good quality work. It was a good honest living being a carpenter. Many folks might want more out of life. I was happy and content doing my family’s work. I also had plans to be married to a wonderful young woman named Mary. We had not long been engaged. This would be the woman to spend the rest of my life with. We made plans as the day neared. I thought that she too really wanted to be married to me. We didn’t lie or practice deception with each other.
Then can you imagine the greatest shock of my life we found out that she was pregnant. PREGNANT!! How could she do this to me? We are the talk of this very small town and not in a good way. This type of thing is looked down upon, and if I ignore it they will think I am a fool. What is it that she needs that I cannot provide?
Still she has never been dishonest with me and so why should I doubt? She is telling me the most extraordinary reason for her pregnancy that God sent an angel to talk to her and to tell her, “Not to be afraid because she had found favor with God.” Then the angel said “that she would be with child and give birth to a son.” To be honest that didn’t sound like much of a favor to me. We are engaged and this was not my child. People would talk about her and then by extension also begin talking about me.
People would think she is crazy and they would think I was crazy for staying with her. Maybe she is crazy, maybe I am crazy too, I don’t know. All this is hard to take. I know that a young woman pregnant out-of-wedlock will have enough trouble getting along in this cruel world. I loved her still, and I would have every right to break off our engagement and walk away. Yet, she said the angel told her the child should have the name of Jesus. He will be great and the Son of the Most High. And the Lord will give Him the throne of his father David, that His Kingdom will not end.
Mary asked the angel how this is possible since she was a virgin? This will happen though the working of the Holy Spirit. This story is so unbelievable as to almost be believable. After all who could make this up? I just don’t know what to do. I am certain she will have enough public ridicule, I will just end our marriage commitments as privately as I can and maybe lessen the ridicule for both of us. I do not have to do anything tonight. It’s late. I should just sleep on it. I will feel better about my decision in the morning.
As I slept an angel of the Lord appeared to me also. He told me not to be afraid to keep my commitments to Mary and to take her as my wife. For the child that is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a Son, and I should give him the name Jesus, for he will save his people. This also fulfills prophecy. So when I woke up I did exactly as the angel instructed. When God sends you a direct message through a private messenger…you listen and you act.
Mary and I remained together as man and wife though I had no union with her during the pregnancy. In the days since we found out Mary was pregnant with God’s special child I have to say I am worried. How am I to be the father of God’s Son, and she his mother. We are ordinary people we are not worth of the task yet how do you say no to God? The answer is you don’t or you may end up in the belly of a really big fish like Jonah did. We will certainly be praying more than we ever thought.
There is never a good or right time to have to travel to participate in a government census but Mary is nearly ready to give birth. The results of opposing Caesar are not good, some people are never heard from again. We packed up what we thought we needed and could carry starting out for Bethlehem. Just Mary and I and our donkey. When we arrive things are even more hectic than we would have thought. People coming and going everywhere. I could tell Mary was tired and the time was near.
I tried to get us a room at the Inn but they were full. I think the only person who looked more tired or worried than us was the Innkeeper. He did not have any rooms but he found room and shelter in his stable. It’s not a room in the Inn but it is out of the elements and away from all the coming and going of the guests. This will be a little more quiet and perhaps Mary can rest. The child could be born anytime now and she needs to rest.
I am so thankful that we have this shelter no that the baby is almost here.
The child is here now, his name is Jesus. We have made a place for him in this manger. To think as I look at this beautiful baby boy and everything that has led up to this point it seems so strange that God would choose to use us. That we would be given this honor. That he would not be born at home or even in an Inn, but in this stable. It is strange that God did not send an angel to everyone or that He did not come Himself to judge us. It is strange that the message is not one of fear, but hope. God sent His Son not to judge but to save us. Salvation has a name…Jesus!
It is a strange way to save the world.
Why Me?…I’m just a simple man of trade.
Why Him?…With all the rulers in the world.
Why Here?…Inside this stable filled with hay.
Why Her?…She’s just an ordinary girl.
Now I’m not one to second guess what angels have to say. But this is such a strange way to save the world.
What a strange and beautiful way to save the world? God is with us and wants to save. But this, this is truly a strange way to save the world.