W/C 19th December
Our reading this week is: Matthew 1: 8 - 25
8 Asa was the father of Jehoshaphat.
Jehoshaphat was the father of Jehoram.
Jehoram was the father of Uzziah.
9 Uzziah was the father of Jotham.
Jotham was the father of Ahaz.
Ahaz was the father of Hezekiah.
10 Hezekiah was the father of Manasseh.
Manasseh was the father of Amon.
Amon was the father of Josiah.
11 Josiah was the grandfather of Jehoiachin[a] and his brothers, who lived during the time that the people were taken away to Babylon.
12 After they were taken to Babylon:
Jehoiachin was the father of Shealtiel.
Shealtiel was the grandfather of Zerubbabel.
13 Zerubbabel was the father of Abiud.
Abiud was the father of Eliakim.
Eliakim was the father of Azor.
14 Azor was the father of Zadok.
Zadok was the father of Achim.
Achim was the father of Eliud.
15 Eliud was the father of Eleazar.
Eleazar was the father of Matthan.
Matthan was the father of Jacob.
16 Jacob was the father of Joseph.
Joseph was the husband of Mary,
and Mary was the mother of Jesus, who is called the Messiah.
17 So there were fourteen generations from Abraham to David. There were also fourteen generations from David until the people were taken away to Babylon. And there were fourteen more from the time the people were taken to Babylon until the Messiah was born.
The Birth of Jesus the Messiah
18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah happened. His mother Mary was engaged to marry Joseph. But before they married, he learned that she was expecting a baby. (She was pregnant by the power of the Holy Spirit.) 19 Mary’s husband, Joseph, was a good man. He did not want to cause her public disgrace, so he planned to divorce her secretly.
20 But after Joseph thought about this, an angel from the Lord came to him in a dream. The angel said, “Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to accept Mary to be your wife. The baby inside her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son. You will name him Jesus.[b] Give him that name because he will save his people from their sins.”
22 All this happened to make clear the full meaning of what the Lord said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will be pregnant and will give birth to a son. They will name him Immanuel.”[c] (Immanuel means “God with us.”)
24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the Lord’s angel told him to do. He married Mary. 25 But Joseph did not have sexual relations with her until her son was born. And he named him Jesus.
Prayer for the week:
This Christmas, let us not forget the importance of Joseph in the Christmas story.
Let us see him with new eyes and understand his role:
That he was a good, righteous man.
Help us to see the Nativity through his eyes
And understand that those whose role at first seems small are actually very important.
Song for the week:
We interviewed 'Joseph'. Joseph was upset that everyone always wants to know about Mary, but no-one ever asked how he felt. Joseph was confused about Mary's pregnancy as they were only engaged, and at that time you had to be married to be pregnant. To begin with, Joseph called off their engagement but he was a man of compassion and did so quietly and without fuss.
Then he had a dream; an angel (a messenger from God) visited him and explained that the baby came from God. Jesus went back to Mary and they married and raised Jesus together.
We used the painting The Dream of Saint Joseph by Philippe de Champaigne to think about how each person felt before and after the visitation of the angel.
We also spent a day thinking about the nativity with Rev Caroline and Tia from St. Margaret of Antioch Parish Church of Toppesfield. We spent the morning making crafts linked to the story (Wise Men, Sheep, Shepherds and the nativity scene) before joining together in a walking nativity where we journeyed together as we imagined the journey Mary and Joseph took. The day culminated with a crib service in church where we joined by members of the Parish community and our families.
Questions to think about at home:
Joseph appears to have a small role in the nativity account, and often gets overlooked in the re-telling of the Christmas story. Have you ever felt like an unsung hero? That no one noticed what you had done? What happened? How did you feel?
In what ways was Joseph a really important person in the account of Jesus' birth?
What do you believe about Jesus? Why?