Merry Christmas,Center Point Church. Yes, I know that today is not Christmas but we do get to read the Christmas story in today’s Jumpstart and at least it’s December, unlike those weird people who put up Christmas decorations and start listening to Christmas music before thanksgiving (my wife). Before diving into the Christmas story, let me introduce the book of Matthew to you.
Matthew was the former tax collector who followed Jesus and became one of His closest disciples. Matthew wrote his account of the Gospel with the Jews in mind as he gives an account of Christ as the long anticipated, fulfilled Messiah more than any other Gospel book. This is also why the genealogy in this first chapter is so much more detailed then the other Gospel accounts. He wanted to show us how Jesus came from the promised ancestors of David and Abraham.
Many of us are familiar with the story of the birth of Christ. We’ve heard them at Christmas services and read through them when going through the Gospels. Matthew opens up the story with the engagement of Mary and Joseph. The Holy Spirit placed Jesus in Mary and Joseph assumed she had an affair so he was going to quietly break up with her trying to not put her to shame because he was a good and just man. However an angel came before him and confirmed her immaculate conception and even commanded Joseph to still marry Mary and to name Him Jesus for He will save people from their sins. This also fulfilled the prophecy made in Isaiah 7:14 of the virgin birth of our savior. I can’t even fathom what Joseph would have felt at this time. Can you imagine going from one extreme where you thought your morally good, Jewish virgin girlfriend cheated on you, saying it was the Holy Spirit placing the baby inside her and then an actual angel in all it’s glory confirming this account but saying that this child is going to take away the sins of the world. This month is Christmas and we will hear more of the implications of the Incarnation of God but for today’s application let’s think about Joseph for a moment. How hard was it for Joseph to not only embrace this great responsibility but to do everything he could to then protect Mary (from Herod) and be that rock for her (giving birth in an animal stable) and ignoring other people’s comments about his perceived dysfunctional family.
Holidays can be a joyous season for some but it’s also a very rough season for many others. Like Joseph I want to encourage our church to trust God and walk through the hard seasons. We have more than an angel who has commanded us to do so but the Holy Spirit inside of us who want us to embrace the responsibilities given to us this Christmas season. We may feel like we have that perceived dysfunctional family, but let’s do our best to be Jesus to them this season.
By: Erik Koliser