Chaplain's Chat, 15th December 2020

What a dream!

Do you remember your dreams? I sometimes have dreams which I vaguely remember as having being vivid at the time ….. but which are gone from my memory shortly after I wake up.  Have you had dreams that are so vivid that they stay in your consciousness for a long time? Joseph had such a dream. It is hard to image how I might react if I was ever to have such a dream.

“This is how the birth of

Jesus the Messiah came about:

His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:  “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).”

(NRSV Matthew 1:18 ff)

Joseph was obedient to the message that he received from the angel of the Lord in the dream, and the rest as they say, is history!

BUT …. there is something about this child, something different, something amazing! This child was born in a lowly stable, in a manger, to unmarried parents, in a small town, in a small country. He preached radical messages like, “love your enemies” and “do good to those that hate you.” As an adult he was accused of being a troublemaker and crucified with criminals by the Romans. The Roman authorities certified him dead and gave his body over for burial. For any ordinary person, that would have been the end of it. They may not even have make the history books, and if they did, it may have been as an insignificant footnote in the annals of history.

But this baby made the “biggest splash” of any child in the history of the world! He was different! Joseph played one small part in the sequence of events that brought about the birth in Bethlehem of the Son of God, the Saviour of the world, Immanuel,  God with us.

I invite you to reflect on this amazing world-changing, life-changing event as you enjoy the festivities of Christmas with your families and loved ones. I wish you all a holy and happy Christmas, and every blessing for the New Year.

God bless.

Rev Dave