Dave spoke this morning from Matthew 1:18-25, the angel’s message to Joseph. Joseph must have been mortified by Mary’s announcement to him that she was pregnant, but this news from the angel was equally shocking. Why should they have been chosen by God to parent His Son? Why should they have to travel to Bethlehem for the census? It must have seemed overwhelming to make this adjustment, but the angel told him that this child was so special, not only Jesus the Saviour but ‘Immanuel’, God with us.

Joseph later had the job of teaching Jesus his trade (that of a carpenter), and although it is thought that Joseph died when Jesus was just a teenager, his influence on this son who was not his own must have been great. Jesus was brought up mainly in Nazareth, an ordinary carpenter in an ordinary place, ‘God with us’ but with dirty hands and dirty feet. Just as then, Jesus is still with us in our everyday lives. He loves us as we are; where we are, He gives Himself to us. God is with us everywhere, in the ordinary dust of our lives.