My name is Joseph. I grew up in the same village as Mary. I can never remember a time when I didn't know her. We lived across the street from each other. Along with the other children from our village, we played in the dusty street between our homes.
Truth be told, I cannot remember a time when I didn't love her – first as a friend, of course. But then she became a young woman, and we fell in love romantically. I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her, and she with me. When we became engaged everyone was so happy for us.
Then one day, with tears of fear and trepidation, Mary told me that she was pregnant. It was the worst day of my life. My world fell apart. But because I loved Mary so much, I decided to break off our marriage quietly, so as not to disgrace her. I was, after all, from the house of David, so I wanted to be a good man who brought no dishonor to my family name.
But then I had a dream in which an angel of God told me that I should follow through with the marriage. That the baby in Mary's womb was the son of God, and he would save his people–my people too–from their sins.
When I woke up, I had a choice to make. Do I believe in what I can see with my own eyes, or do I put my faith in what I cannot see? Frankly, it was not an easy decision. I was, after all, a carpenter. I worked with my hands in the visible world in front of me – not the mystical world of spiritual things.
It was a double dilemma. First, I knew if I broke off the marriage, then Mary and her child would become another statistic – another broken home. Another child who would grow up in poverty. Another failed family. That was the human cost, and it was great.
But spiritually speaking, on the outside chance my dream had been real, I might throw the heavens into turmoil. That's because it was common knowledge the Messiah would come from the house of David. And I was the one who came from the house of David – not Mary.
I asked myself, "What does Biblical manhood look like in this situation?" I decided the answer was to put my faith in God. Not to put my faith in my circumstances. I decided to believe in the reality of the invisible, instead of the unreality of the visible.
I chose, by faith, to trust and obey the God I wanted to love with all my heart. I decided to step up and be a godly man. It was the best day of my life. And the rest, as they say, is history. So, I hope you have a very Merry Christmas.
Until every church disciples every man…