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Daily Devotional for December 24


December 24                                                 Matthew 1:18-25

              The Feast of Christmas Eve

The Scriptures don't tell us much about Joseph. We know that
he took Mary and Jesus to Egypt to escape the wrath of Herod;
we know that he was a carpenter who probably taught his trade
to Jesus; we know that he took his family to Jerusalem when
Jesus was twelve. Then we hear nothing more of Joseph. He
probably died sometime between the trip to Jerusalem and the
beginning of Jesus' public ministry.

In today's story, we perceive Joseph as sympathetic, kind, and
aware of God's active presence in his and Mary's lives. He was
obviously devoted to Mary; even when he believed that she
had been unfaithful to him, he didn't want to cause a scandal
or embarrass her. He accepted the assurances of the angel of
God about Mary's unborn child.

Joseph clearly made an impression on Jesus as a devoted father.
When describing his special relationship to God, Jesus used the
closest similar human relationship that he had had, that with
Joseph. Jesus often called God "Father," or "Abba," which
is best translated as "Daddy" - just what he probably called
Joseph. The Hebrew writers of the Old Testament seldom used
the word "Father" to refer to God. Jesus' use of the name
"Father" for God, the same name that he called Joseph, was
therefore, indirectly, a high honor that Jesus paid to Joseph.
It meant that he saw something of the love of God in the love
of Joseph.

In each life there are people like Joseph who make a difference,
revealing something of God's nature. It may be one's mother
or father, an uncle or aunt, a friend, a childhood playmate,
a grandparent. Today as you prepare for Christmas, remember
those special persons and open your heart to the goodness of
God that they reveal.

                         Emmanuel, God with Us!
          You are often with us through special people.
                           Be with us now. Amen.

From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle

Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.C

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