Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
“Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall name him Emmanuel,”
which means, “God is with us.” When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus. Matthew 1:18-25
Remembering How It All Started - As We Face Holy Week
It started with an angelic visitaiton
that caused all sorts of problems for Mary
created heart ache and confusion for Joseph
until an angel visited and gave him strength.
Then the real journey of faith began
a long and arduous trip to Bethlehem
a birth long ways from home without family
a narrow escape from death in foreign land.
What begins at the invitation of God's love
often caused dislocation and confusion
often seems a misdirection and mistake
making us aliens and foreigners likewise.
And what begins with God's loving promise
never fails to see love come fully round
all the pain and suffering and sorrow
the known and living presence of God.