Don’t stop preaching just because it’s Christmas! We get the Christmas story from the scriptures. What we know of the birth of Jesus comes to from the inspired words of the gospels. These passages, found in the first two chapters of Matthew and Luke, are some of the most well-known Bible verses in history. Good preaching highlights the fact that Christmas stories are also scriptural Christmas lessons.
Like countless other believers around the world, as I prepare for the Christmas season I will read these passages again and again. They are familiar and comforting, and perhaps that’s the problem: because I have come to these passages so often, I am tempted to think that there is nothing new for the Holy Spirit to reveal through these words. That would be a mistake, because the Bible narrative of the birth of Christ is not only inspired storytelling but also useful for training in right relationship with God. What better way to prepare for Christmas than to go deeper in our relationship with the Father?
The birth narratives–like all scripture–are food for students of Jesus. These passages are filled with challenges to our faith, and filled with the encouragement we need to grow in God. Today I would like to share just four observations from the life of Joseph of Nazareth, the man trusted by God to raise the Savior of the world.
4 Christmas Lessons From Joseph of Nazareth
1). Poor Joseph–God didn’t get his approval before acting.
Can you imagine the real-life shock of these words: “Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 1: 18) Mary received an angelic visitation and the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit. Joseph received the worst news of his life. God “drafted” Joseph into a difficult position–would the Almighty ever do the same to us? Have we ever considered the implications of God’s sovereignty? If we affirm that we belong to him are we willing to be drafted as Joseph was?