“Moved by the Spirit, Simeon went into the temple courts. When Joseph and Mary brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required …Jesus’s father and mother marvelled at what was said about him.”

Luke 2:27

Extra readings: Do your own research into the life and death of Joseph, Mary’s husband and the ‘father’ of Jesus.

If Christmas is associated with giving of gifts then an historical figure who stands out in the text, must be Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus. To quote a cliché, ‘Joseph was the gift who did not stop giving’.

It begins with Joseph’s earthly connection to Mary as her betrothed and the genealogy that he brings with him, the lineage of King David. This is really important for prophecy to be accurately fulfilled. This was the kingly lineage. Mary’s lineage goes back to Aaron and this is the priestly lineage.

Joseph then goes on to marry a pregnant young woman whose pregnancy was a divine act of God. He did this in the face of what must have been a difficult situation within a very close knit community. The village people would have assumed that he and Mary had misbehaved and would have treated them accordingly.

Then Joseph is told by an angel to go to Egypt. Are you kidding? If they travelled at 15 km a day it would have taken them 7½ weeks and when they got there he would have needed to find a place to stay and then started working as a carpenter. After 3 or 4 years they had to travel back from Egypt to Nazareth with a 4 year old boy. On arrival in Nazareth they had to start a new life.

Despite the rocky and confusing start, Joseph did not flinch from carrying out the assignment given to him by the God. What has God asked you to do that you have not done?


Dear Father, as we once again celebrate Christmas please help us to do that which you have assigned to us. Amen.

Want to do this devotional with your family?

1. Discuss. What chores does each member need to do regularly? Do they actually do them?What are some of the things that they can improve on?

3. Ask each child in turn to tell you how they might measure the success of an assignment given to them?

4. Let them answer this question: When is an assignment complete?

5. Explain how vital it was that each person in the Christmas story actually did what God told them to do.

6. Finish by praying and blessing each child, then allow them to open their Day 13 Advent Calendar