“Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.’ All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: ‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel’ (which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.” (Matthew 1:18-25)
Joseph wasn’t thrilled to learn that his fiancé, Mary, was pregnant. He didn’t know who the father was; he just knew that it for sure wasn’t his child.
Joseph had a big decision to make. Would he stay with Mary or leave her? According to Jewish Law, Joseph was allowed to divorce Mary, but Joseph was a righteous man and did not want to embarrass her. Joseph decided to privately split up with Mary in order to protect her from shame.
While considering this decision, however, Joseph received an even bigger surprise. An angel, sent from God, came to him in a dream! The angel told Joseph not to be afraid to take Mary as a wife, for the baby that was inside her was God’s very own Son. The angel told Joseph that this child was special; He would save His people from their sins.
When Joseph woke up from his dream, he still didn’t know all the details of God’s plan, but he had faith that God’s way was ultimately best. He took Mary as his wife and gave the child the name Jesus, which means “the Lord saves.”
When God sent Jesus to earth, He was fulfilling promises He had made all throughout the Bible. In fact, the Bible is a bunch of smaller stories that point to one big Story, the Story of God’s rescue plan. The all-powerful, all-knowing, all-seeing Creator of everything sent Jesus to the world to live a perfect life, die a death He did not deserve, and come back to life the third day. Through Jesus, God provided a way for everyone who believes in Him to be saved and have a relationship with Him.
Draw a picture of tools on today’s ornament to represent Joseph, the carpenter. Let Joseph’s story remind you that while we can only see a tiny picture of God’s plan, God has a perfect purpose and knows everything. Work together as a family to put together a puzzle this week. Thank God that He sees the big picture of our lives and that one day we will see it too!