In Matthew chapter 1:1-17, Matthew prepares us for the shocking news that Jesus the Messiah was conceived out of wedlock, and was a descendant of Abraham and of David. From verses 18-25, Matthew makes it very clear that this is no normal child. Jesus is “Son of David”, not by the usual physical means, but by Joseph’s lineage and the Holy Spirit.

Joseph was a kind man and treated his fianc√© with respect when he discovered she was pregnant, but not by him. He was planning to end their engagement in a way which did not expose her to public disgrace when an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and told him to take Mary as his wife. “She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, comes to us too in unexpected ways. We too are called to be participants in the story of God’s love entering the world. And there may even be a human “angel” sent to show us the way. Are we open to the sometimes painful birth of new truth within us?

Rev Adelene Mills