Reading:  Matthew 1:18-25                    English - Wilson   Chinese - Monica

The Birth of Jesus Christ
18  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 of the Holy Spirit;
19  and her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.
20  But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit;
21  she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins."
22  All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
23  "Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel" (which means, God with us).
24  When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took his wife,
25  but knew her not until she had borne a son; and he called his name Jesus.

COMMENTARY                                 - Vera

The writers of our gospels do not tell us much about Joseph. We know a good deal more about Mary.  But it is clear that Joseph also had special qualities.

The first problem he had to face was the fact that Mary was pregnant before they were to be married.

Naturally he would assume that this would cause both him and Mary great social disgrace.  According to the law at that time, Joseph had the right to break off the engagement publicly.  But our Bible tells us that Joseph was a man of honour.  He had no desire to hurt Mary, so he thought it would be better if they quietly cancelled their plans to marry.

Then God spoke in a special way to Joseph, as he already had done to Mary.  We can be sure that it was not easy for Joseph to understand.  And, even if he did understand, other people would assume that something immoral had happened between Joseph and Mary. Yet, Joseph was willing to be misunderstood because he knew what God wanted.

Many Christians today find themselves in situations were they are misunderstood.  World Vision workers in some places are called "communists" or "revolutionaries" just because they work with the poor.  In such situations, Christians must have the courage of Joseph.  They must be willing to be misunderstood, because they know what God wants.


Today is Raymond's birthday.  Happy Birthday to Raymond!!!! Let's sing Birthday song.

PRAYER (say together)

Loving heavenly Father, we pray for the courage and honour of Joseph.  Help us always to do your will, even when it causes us to be misunderstood.
In Jesus' Name we pray A-men