In-person worship services will be held as scheduled this Sunday. Please use discretion when determining whether roads are safe for your personal travel.
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26 When Elizabeth was six months pregnant, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a city in Galilee, 27 to a virgin who was engaged to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David’s house. The virgin’s name was Mary.
54 When he came to his hometown, he taught the people in their synagogue. They were surprised and said, “Where did he get this wisdom? Where did he get the power to work miracles? 55 Isn’t he the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother named Mary? Aren’t James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas his brothers?
Luke simply told readers that Mary was “engaged to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David’s house.” We will learn more about Joseph in next week’s GPS from the gospel of Matthew. But we need to know something about Mary’s fiancé to grasp her story. She lived in the tiny village of Nazareth, but the slender evidence in the gospels suggests that Bethlehem was Joseph’s home town (cf. Luke 2:1-4). If so, their families probably arranged the marriage (a fuller study of evidence for that is in Pastor Hamilton’s The Journey: Walking the Road to Bethlehem).
Today’s Insights was chapter 7, “Joseph the Carpenter” from The Journey: A Season of Reflections, by Adam Hamilton. Copyright © 2011 by Abingdon Press, and available on our website for 24 hours by permission of Abingdon Press. If you’d like to buy the entire book of reflections, you can click here for a direct link to the Cokesbury sale page, as well as other Journey resources.
Lord God, when you chose Mary, you also chose Joseph. He could have prayed John Wesley’s covenant prayer (“Let me be full, let me be empty”) as he played his supporting role. Give me his spirit. Amen.
* Barclay M. Newman and Phillip C. Stine, A Handbook on the Gospel of Matthew. New York: United Bible Societies, 1988, p. 444.