Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Rediscovering the Christmas Season Together - Day 2: The Announcement

St. Joseph, c. 1642, Georges de La Tour, 1593-1652

Today's reading, the first chapter of Matthew, looks a little cumbersome at first glance, what with all the "son of..." passages, but just remember that each of these people listed was a part of Jesus' history, and each of them was known and loved by God, just like you are. I have used the New Living Translation just to make it a little easier to read.

This is a record of the ancestors of Jesus the Messiah, a descendant of David and of Abraham:

Abraham was the father of Isaac.
Isaac was the father of Jacob.
Jacob was the father of Judah and his brothers.
Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah (whose mother was Tamar).
Perez was the father of Hezron.
Hezron was the father of Ram.
Ram was the father of Amminadab.
Amminadab was the father of Nahshon.
Nahshon was the father of Salmon.
Salmon was the father of Boaz (whose mother was Rahab).
Boaz was the father of Obed (whose mother was Ruth).
Obed was the father of Jesse.
Jesse was the father of King David.

David was the father of Solomon (whose mother was Bathsheba, the widow of Uriah).
Solomon was the father of Rehoboam.
Rehoboam was the father of Abijah.
Abijah was the father of Asa.
Asa was the father of Jehoshaphat.
Jehoshaphat was the father of Jehoram.
Jehoram was the father of Uzziah.
Uzziah was the father of Jotham.
Jotham was the father of Ahaz.
Ahaz was the father of Hezekiah.
Hezekiah was the father of Manasseh.
Manasseh was the father of Amon.
Amon was the father of Josiah.
Josiah was the father of Jehoiachin and his brothers (born at the time of the exile to Babylon).

After the Babylonian exile:
Jehoiachin was the father of Shealtiel.
Shealtiel was the father of Zerubbabel.
Zerubbabel was the father of Abiud.
Abiud was the father of Eliakim.
Eliakim was the father of Azor.
Azor was the father of Zadok.
Zadok was the father of Akim.
Akim was the father of Eliud.
Eliud was the father of Eleazar.
Eleazar was the father of Matthan.
Matthan was the father of Jacob.
Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary.
Mary gave birth to Jesus, who is called the Messiah.

All those listed above include fourteen generations from Abraham to David, fourteen generations from David to the Babylonian exile, and fourteen generations from the Babylonian exile to the Messiah.

This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. Joseph, her fiancé, was a good man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly.

As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. "Joseph, son of David," the angel said, "do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins."

All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord's message through his prophet: "Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means 'God is with us.'"

Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife. But he did not have sexual relations with her until her son was born. And Joseph named him Jesus.

Home in Nazareth, 1962, Frank Wesley (India), 1923-2002

Exposure: Read the opening chapter of the New Testament—the account of Joseph, the earthly father God chose for His Son.

Exploration: Consider how the weight of generations of expectations affected Joseph's ability to step into such an awesome role. What do you think was going through Joseph's mind when the angel showed up and told him about Jesus?

Expression: How would you have felt if you were Joseph? Discuss with a friend or journal about what this announcement meant to Joseph and to all of us.

Experience: Have you had an experience where God asked you to do something that seemed ridiculous? Make a plan this Christmas season to do something ridiculous that you know God wants you to do.

Don't forget to share your insights here with us! Especially you boys and girls.


  1. if i were Joseph for some times i would have been confused about the message that the angel gave me. For some time i would not trust because from world side this is not possible. I would have two voice coming from with in my heart. The first voice is of Satan which would tell me that is it not possible. Than second voice from God, which would say, that it is possible. If I will have good relationship with God than I would trust and belive in God's voice and I would accept Mary as my wife.

  2. If I were in the place of Joseph, it would have been hard for me to accept Mary as my wife. Because since Mary was pregnant and if I would have marry her people would felt bad about me, especially my family members.

    But since God sent His angel to tell Joseph, and he accepted her, I also would have done the same. No matter what the world think of me.

  3. PARVEEN Said

    If I were in the place of Joseph, and the angel would have sent to me, that would be a scary experience for me, but no matter what the cost, even if they would have excommunicated me I would have accepted her as my wife.

  4. If I were Joseph, I would have done the same what I see him doing in Matt.1.