This is how the birth of Jesus Christ took place. When Mary his mother was engaged to Joseph, before they were married, she became pregnant by the Holy Spirit.
Joseph her husband was a righteous man. Because he didn’t want to humiliate her, he decided to call off their engagement quietly. Perhaps he was willing to take on the community scrutiny himself. After all, Mary could relocate and would have his dowry to live on with the baby. He would live as a single man and take it all on himself. As he was thinking about this, an angel from the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because the child she carries was conceived by the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you will call him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
Now all of this took place so that what the Lord had spoken through the prophet Isaiah would be fulfilled: Look! A virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, And they will call him, Emmanuel. (which means “God with us.”)
When Joseph woke up, he did just as an angel from God commanded and took Mary as his wife. But he didn’t have sexual relations with her until she gave birth to a son. Joseph called him Jesus.
The scripture from Matthew's gospel moves from the mundane list of family names to the sacred, mysterious and holy event of the birth of the Messiah. He received two names: Jesus, given to Joseph in a dream, and Emmanuel which had been God's promise through the prophet Isaiah years ago.
God promised his people that his saving presence would be with them where ever they went and especially whenever they were threatened. Over time, sin threatened more than the People of Israel. Sin threatened all creation including each and every one of us. And so, a heavenly messenger stated Jesus' life purpose: to save people from their sins. I believe it is God's greatest desire for each and every one of us to know Jesus not only as the Messiah who saves people from their sin but a Savior who saves us from our own sin. Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus, save us from our sin.
See you Sunday,