Joseph's Journey (17 December 2018)

Morning Encounter:

Introduction

This Christmas week, many people will be making all kinds of trips and expeditions to visit family and friends. Going out and about for gatherings of all kinds is an important part of Christmas. Journeys were also part of the original Christmas story. Travel with us this week as we explore the various journeys that took place, culminating with the birth of the Saviour.

Read:

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. 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 would be fulfilled:

 Look! A virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son,
        And they will call him, Emmanuel.

(Matthew 1: 18-23)

Reflect:

Joseph’s journey begins with the unwelcome news that his bride-to-be is pregnant. You can only imagine the shame, anger and sense of betrayal he must have felt. But then he has a dream. In the midst of confusion, fear and anxiety about what lies ahead he chooses surrender, faith and hope.

Respond:  

Take time to read these words a few times and reflect on your own journey of faith.

Midday Meditation:

‘It need not discourage us if we are full of doubts. Healthy questions keep faith dynamic. In fact, unless we start with doubts we cannot have a deep-rooted faith. One who believes lightly and unthinkingly has not much of a belief. One who has a faith which is not to be shaken has won it through blood and tears -has worked his or her way from doubt to truth as one who reaches a clearing through a thicket of brambles and thorns.’

(Helen Keller)
 

Evening Reflection:

Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
naught be all else to me, save that thou art;
thou my best thought, by day or by night,
waking or sleeping, thy presence my light. 

(From the hymn: ‘Be Thou My Vision’)

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