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25th December 2014

A very Happy Christmas to everyone. May we all know and experience the joy of God being with us in Jesus.

Please Pray for: Simon& Paulette, Zack & June

Matthew 1.20

20 As he was pondering these things an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying: Joseph, son of David, you should not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for what is conceived in her is by the Holy Spirit.

Fear grips us all at certain times. It is an emotion that is common to the whole of humanity. One of the main reasons for people failing the driving test is the fear of failure, because that fear can get such a strong hold of people that it adversely affects the way they behave behind the wheel of a car when they are on a test.

This is true for a lot of people when they have to take examinations of various kinds.
Joseph was a man who was gripped by fear. God knew that and so despatched an angel to go to him and tell him that he had nothing to be afraid of.

We can imagine what some of his fears would have been.

There would have been the fear of what other people would think about Mary becoming pregnant before the actual wedding day. Obviously her condition would have become apparent and the conclusion would be that Mary and Joseph had had sexual relationship before their wedding day.
Once it was clear that Joseph was not the father of Mary’s child he would have feared the reaction of people who would have thought that Mary was an adulterer. In Jewish law adultery covered the period of engagement.

He would have been afraid of being seen as weak and feeble if he continued with the wedding plans and married her.

Therefore, in pondering what to do, fear was driving his proposed action, which was to divorce Mary. Again, in Jewish Law if a couple wanted to end their relationship during their period of engagement, they were required to get divorced.

It is against this background of fear that an angel brings God’s word to him that he should not be afraid to take Mary to be his wife, because she was pregnant by the Holy Spirit.
Luke tells us that when Mary wanted to know how she was to become pregnant that the angel Gabriel said: “The Holy Spirit will descend (and operate in you) upon you and the power of the most high will envelope you. Therefore, the one being born will be called: Son of God”.
It was the same message.

On this day of celebrating the birth of Jesus, His message to us is still the same that we do not need to be afraid, because: In love there is no fear because perfect love drives it out – 1 John 4.18.

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