Advent readings are something we do each year.
It is a devotional that is created by members of our congregation and read each Sunday during the advent season.
Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name Immanuel”
(which means, God with us).
When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.
A tiny spark of life began in the womb of a young woman. A small heart began to beat, a small body began to grow and move and make itself known to Mary…and to the man who was waiting to marry her.
Joseph knew Mary’s baby wasn’t his, but Mary was a young girl in a society where women were entirely dependent on men. To publicly disgrace her would mean death by stoning for both mother and unborn child, so he sought to end the relationship quietly. Before he could act, however, an angel came to Joseph in a dream. “Do not fear,” the angel said, and Joseph believed. As soon as he awakened, he married Mary and claimed the baby as his own.
Joseph was called on by angels again and again to protect Jesus from death. As Jesus grew, Joseph fulfilled his duties as a Jewish father, taking his son to the temple for holy days, teaching him a trade, making sure he was well versed in the scriptures. Joseph filled a vital role in Jesus’ life, allowing God to use him as the earthly father of a heavenly Son.
As Joseph slept, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.”
When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him.
As Joseph slept, an angel appeared and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.”
And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt.
As Joseph slept, an angel came to him saying, “Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child’s life are dead.”
And he rose and took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel.
As Joseph slept, an angel warned him against going into Judea.
Thus he withdrew to the district of Galilee. And he went and lived in a city called Nazareth,
God, give us the faith of Joseph—a fearless faith, a faith that doesn’t hesitate, a faith that acts when you have shown us what is right—so that your word might be fulfilled in us.