Christmas Day 2022

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It’s Christmas Morning,
For many of us the presents have been unwrapped, the food, at least the sweets have been consumed, a feast may be coming, but today,
Right now,
We focus on the God, Immanuel that has come.
We have spent the morning focusing on the progression of the Christmas story and last night, for those of us who where there, we were reminded of a purpose or calling for our lives.
We are reminded that God has called us.
Right now it’s Christmas Morning.
This morning comes once a year, but this year, if falls on a Sunday.
Sunday, the day we gather to celebrate the Christmas story each week, and today it’s a celebration Day.
This morning, I wanted to spend a few moments looking at the life of the Christ Child through the eyes of Joseph.
Let’s watch a video, an actor’s view of Joseph



In the video, the word Detour is spoken.
Let’s take a look at Joseph
What do we see in the scripture of the man who would help raise the "Son of Mary." Everybody else in the Christmas story gets air time or makes a cameo, but not the primary man who would love and invest himself in the life of this special child.
As the actor portrayed this morning, Joseph’s life was anything but what he planned.
Matthew, Luke and John all mention Joseph by name, none of them record him as ever having a speaking part. While a few of Joseph's actions are recorded during the early years of his relationship with Mary and into Jesus 'early life, none of Joseph's words remain in print within the pages of the Bible. Only Joseph's actions of obedience, care, and presence are mentioned.
This morning as you sit here reflecting on the Christ Child what has God called you to do in your act of obedience
Do you notice in the Christmas story, what Joseph was doing? Joseph quietly was present at the manger.
He was present before the manger.
He was present after the manger.
He was present at least up through Jesus' twelfth birthday as recorded in
Luke 2:41–52 ESV
41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. 42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom. 43 And when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, 44 but supposing him to be in the group they went a day’s journey, but then they began to search for him among their relatives and acquaintances, 45 and when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, searching for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 And when his parents saw him, they were astonished. And his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been searching for you in great distress.” 49 And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” 50 And they did not understand the saying that he spoke to them. 51 And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.
Joseph’s life took a detour from Joseph’s plans not God’s.
I could image Joseph’s life changed the moment that the Angel appeared to him.
Did you catch Joseph’s plan
Matthew 1:18–19 ESV
18 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. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.
Joseph’s plan for his life was un-raveling right before him.
I can imagine he had visions of his life with Mary. The plan was going great.
The parents had been a part of the arrangement.
The young couple was in the stage of betrothed, fully committed to one another, but not quite married.
I guess it was like they were engaged, with all the full plans of the family preparing for the wedding day.
Excitement was in the air, I could imagine all the aunts, sisters, all those who love to put on a good feast and celebration were looking forward to the day they would wed.
Joseph must have wondered why this was happening in his life.
I would surmise that Joseph was questioning God’s plan?
I would think he could even be a slight bit slighted against Mary thinking this “with child” story was not all it appeared.
Joseph was making plans, He was preparing what he thought would be best,
Then an angel gives the glimpse of God’s Story for his life
Matthew 1:20–24 ESV
20 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. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). 24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife,
Has God ever taken you on a detour in your life?
Has your plans with God seem to un-ravel as well
Then you look to God with a question Why?
Joseph from that moment with the angel speaking to him in a dream, his detour was to follow God.
Look at some of the things Joseph did with this child, that was clearly not his own.

Naming the child

The naming of a child was the responsibility of the father. The intention of God was for Joseph to adopt Jesus as his son and become his earthly father. When Jesus was born in Bethlehem on that Christmas night, Joseph named the child, his adopted child, Jesus.
It was also the responsibility of the father to carry the swaddling clothes for the new born son. After the child was born, It was the responsibility of the father to wrap this child to protect this newborn son.
When my firstborn son was born, he was given to me. The nurses had taken him and wrapped him in receiving blankets, (swaddling cloths) and placed him in my arms.
That night, I became a father. I looked down at my son who now made me a father.
I can image Joseph doing the same for his new born son that first day in the life of Emmanuel, God with us.
It was his responsibility as his adoptive father to care for him.
Someone once wrote,
On the night Jesus was born, Joseph not only gave Jesus His name but also Joseph likely took this newborn baby and symbolically placed Jesus across his knees. Such a symbolic act was the way a first-century husband in biblical days acknowledged the legitimacy of his newborn descendant.
Subsequently, for a man to place someone else's child across his knees was a sacred and symbolic act signifying adoption. Although the Bible does not state explicitly that Joseph did this, it is highly probable Joseph not only gave Jesus his name, but also laid Jesus across his knees claiming his legacy and adopting the Son of Mary as his own.
As the various characters in the story appear , the shepherds, the wise-man, Joseph was there.
Mary was treasuring all these things in her heart but Joseph took on the responsibility with the promise from God that this was his calling.
Joseph's wife, Mary, certainly viewed her husband as Jesus's father. When Jesus was a twelve-year-old boy, Joseph and Mary had been to Jerusalem as a family where they celebrated the Feast of Passover. Upon traveling back home, they realized Jesus was not with their traveling group. Upon rushing back to Jerusalem, they found Jesus talking with the teachers in the Temple. Notice how Jesus' mother, Mary, responds to Jesus upon finding him, as well as how Luke, the writer of this gospel account, identifies the couple.
Luke 2:48 ESV
48 And when his parents saw him, they were astonished. And his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been searching for you in great distress.”
Luke identified both Mary and Joseph as Jesus' parents. Mary, Jesus' birth mother, calls her husband, Joseph, Jesus' "father." It was clear that Joseph adopted Jesus as his son. It was how Jesus was known in his childhood and even into his adult life. Another clue is given in John's gospel when Jesus calls his disciples to follow him and later into his public ministry.
John 1:43–45 ESV
43 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”
We also so in the Gospel of john the following statement
John 6:41–42 ESV
41 So the Jews grumbled about him, because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?”
His detour took on a knew route.
Everybody who knew Jesus recognized him as Joseph's son. Joseph had adopted Jesus as his son from day one.
Is your life in a detour today? Can you identify with Joseph and wondering where God is taking you?
One of the characteristics of Joseph, the Christ Child’s earthly father, and the God that is leading us in our detour is this.
He is the One who adopts and names us as part of His own family.
Paul writes about this characteristic of Jesus who would grow from the baby in the manger to the God that was willing not only to die for rescue of His creation, but also to lay all people across His knees to call them as His own as he purchased their freedom from the slavery of sin, death, Satan, and hell.
Gal 4:4-7
Galatians 4:4–7 ESV
4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.
Paul also reminds us as he wrote, in Romans,
Romans 8:14–17 ESV
14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
Paul goes on to write about the adoption into God's family in his letter to the Ephesian church.
Ephesians 1:5 ESV
5 he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,
After our adoption into the family of God the Father that is made possible by Jesus the Son, in due time Jesus will give us a new name.
That is adoption language. It includes the responsibility of a father to name his child.
He is the one who enables adoption into God's family to take place and will give a new name to those who become part of His family. These are the characteristics we see in Jesus' adoptive, earthly father, Joseph. These are the truths and responsibilities of the One we celebrate who was born in a manger so he could die on a cross leading to resurrection and the defeat of sin and death. Such victory and life enables adoption to be available for all who call on His name! This is the ultimate answer to the question: what child is this? He is Jesus, the adopting and naming God who sets us on His knee and calls us son
Joseph’s detour was something at the time, seemed an impossible journey, yet God was with him the entire time.
God’s plan to bring the saviour to the world intersected with Joseph’s plan and the detour was from God. Joseph walked through that detour in full obedience relying upon the God of the Ages, the faithful God to give him the strength to carry on.

In Summary

As the worship team comes forward, to lead us in two wonderful songs about our Christ Child now King, let me remind you of this.
Last night we saw that God has a purpose even when we don’t see it.
And now this morning, we determined that God does have a purpose, but sometimes in order to fulfil that purpose, there is a detour. 
If your walking down that detour today, remember this.
He loves us, our response is obedience, not as some automatic robot thing, but out of a deep sense of love for our heavenly father.  In obedience and love, we walk with God on our detour because God loves us.
Let’s now sing of the one who will lead us in life.


Today we have celebrated the Lord coming as a Child Immanuel.
But I want to leave you with this benediction as we look forward to Christ coming again.
Revelation 22:20–21 ESV
20 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! 21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.
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