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Faith Daily | 18 December 2020


PRAYER of the Week| ADVENT THREE (APBA p.468):


Almighty God,

you have made us and all things to serve you:

come quickly to save us,

so that wars and violence shall end

and your children may live in peace,

honouring one another with justice and love;

through Jesus Christ, your Son our Lord,

who lives with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

Amen



GOSPEL for the Day: Matthew 1: 18-24


18 Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah* took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. 20But just when he had resolved to do 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 as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.’ 22All this took place to fulfil what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:

23 ‘Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel’, which means, ‘God is with us.’ 24When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife.



GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by Graeme Curnow


References to Joseph, Jesus' "adoptive" father on Earth, are scant. However, in this passage we learn something of his character: that he was a kind, compassionate man who was disposed to "doing the right thing".


His righteous faith also meant that he was also open to receiving messages from God, and then acting on them. (Maybe, prior to his dream, Mary had told him of her encounter with the Angel Gabriel?)


Joseph was strong to stand against the customs of the day in order to support the young woman whose circumstances would lead to her disgrace.


We learn later that the adult Jesus was a carpenter so Joseph's must have taught the boy his own trade. This indicates that the bond between the 2 was deep, and probably like that of a regular father and son.


These days there are many blended families. where men are caring for children that they have not fathered. Let's be thankful for their love, care and parenting skills.


Through acrimonious family breakdowns, society is loaded with fathers who do not have adequate access to their beloved children and Christmas for them is a time of sadness and bitterness. Let us remember them in our prayers!


FINAL PRAYER: David Adam Clouds of Glory


In the church that looks for you,

among the people who proclaim you,

with all who seek to serve you,

among all who dedicate their lives to you,

with all who proclaim that they love you,

in and in daily life

Immanuel.

Amen

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