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Joseph        Matthew 1:18-25   

Joseph is the forgotten man of Christmas. He doesn’t say a word. But is a significant part of this story. He is silent but obedient. He is remarkably simple and simply remarkable. Joseph is obedient  Joseph models the influence and the consequences of an immediate, simple obedience to the command of God. If you look at the life of Joseph you can summarise it in a single, simple word. There was in his life an immediate obedience to the word of God. If you look at the forgotten man of Christmas you’ll learn that it is possible to obey God with a breathtaking, unquestioning immediacy. God spoke through the angel, and married Mary. His obedience that outran any of the other major characters in the story of Jesus’ birth.

In Luke 1:18 when the announcement came to Zechariah, the aged father to be of John the Baptist, Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I shall I know this? I’m an old man. My wife is well advanced in years.” He was struck silent because he said that. Zechariah met the command of God with a denial. Mary, the mother of Jesus, in Luke 1:34, met that command with doubt. “How can this be since I know not a man?” Joseph didn’t respond with denial or doubt but with an immediacy of obedience. “He took her to be his wife and did not touch her until that holy thing was born.”

In fact, Joseph has an obedience that outshines many of the leaders in the Bible. There’s Moses called upon as an eighty-year-old shepherd to lead an exodus. What do you hear from him? Four consecutive excuses before he finally submits to do the will of God. There is Isaiah seeing God high and lifted up in the temple of Jerusalem. An excuse. “I’m a man of unclean lips.” There’s Jeremiah called to be a prophet, and he gives God two excuses. “I’m too young. I can’t speak.” There’s Amos, the keeper of sycamore fruit and keeper of sheep, and he says, “I don’t have the credentials to be a prophet.”
 
1 John 2:3 gives us a test of salvation. “By this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep on habitually cherishing his commandments.” God wants to be obeyed. Obedience is better than sacrifice.

Obedience in pain Joseph shows us we can obey God in painful circumstances. Mary was with child. Historian Jerome said that “Joseph knew Mary’s holiness and that it hid in silence a mystery he did not understand.”  Joseph “He was a just man.” That has two meanings. Dikaios means, he was a righteous man, under the law he had no choice but to put her aside, end their betrothal. But dikaios has another meaning. It means to be prudent, to be discreet. That’s what he intended to do.  He had this shattering, intruding dream. “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.”
 
Obedience in the face of fear The word to Joseph was “Fear not.” The message wasn’t “Don’t be too proud to obey God; too disgusted; too angry; too hurt; too ashamed.” The word was “Stop being afraid of obedience.” God had come close, creating a situation that scalded him with fear and humiliated him with awe at the power of God.  In Luke 5 after the miraculous catch of fish, Peter wasn’t overcome with gladness or joy. Peter was overcome with fear, and said  “Depart from me. I’m a sinful man.” The truth is in the face of God’s commands it’s easier for us to go back to our comfortable, safe, predictable activities than it is to obey God in a radical way. 

We can obey God by staking everything on his Word alone. That word came to Joseph in a dream. Obedience and trust Have you ever had a dream when you thought God spoke to you? I’m sure Joseph in prayer struggled with just that. He had to decide is this a false or true dream. He interpreted it and he acted on it. Like that other dreamer, Joseph, hanging his life and destiny on the dreams that he had in that Egyptian prison.
 
From this remarkable, forgotten man of Christmas we can learn obedience that stakes everything on one word from God. We can also learn from Joseph that obedience always has its consequence. And it has a very personal and very immediate consequence for Joseph. That is in verse 24 and 25. “He did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took Mary to be his wife.” That was the immediate consequence. But it also had a lifetime of consequences. No sooner had he married Mary they had to drop everything and go to Bethlehem in obedience to that census which arranged events so the Son of God could be born where the prophet said he would be born. Then they had to go to Egypt.
 
Joseph as a father  The forgotten man of Christmas reminds us of the influence of obedience, for Joseph was the father figure in the home of Jesus. Only Jesus called God Abba, Dad, Papa. Was that because of the remarkable, simple obedience that he saw in the life of Joseph that he was able to take that life and lift it up and see a word to use of our heavenly Father?  And our Lord, who saw that remarkably simple obedience in Joseph learned obedience himself, even to the cross.
Joseph's Song - Michael Card
A Christmas programme for P6 children
Volunteers required
Friday 13th December 9am & 1pm
AVAILABLE IN THE MOSSY CAFE

"The Life That I Live" is written as an eye opener for the present and next breed of Christians, a prayer that the life that they live will meet that of what Christ Jesus has in mind and taught. It also aims to nurture Christians, especially new born again Christians on the lifestyle they ought to live in the new family they have joined.

One basic problem with Christendom is the fact that there are so many ‘babies’. When people become born again, they need to study and understand the requirements, promises and lifestyle of the master they have decided to follow. This book is purposed to help you do one thing, “the careful living”.

Pastor Gladstone Akabuah is the Senior Pastor of a growing church in Oshiye (Bortianor), Ghana. He is also the Administrator of Sponsorship for the NGO Rescue Aid Mission. Gladstone is a dynamic young man, with incredible vision and the energy to see things to their fulfilment. In the years that I have known him he has studied hard and achieved much.

Together we are partners in building the church (Mossvale Community Sanctuary) and the Church. I see his Pastoral heart and how he goes the extra mile and thinks nothing of sacrifice for the needy around him in Ghana. As a Pastor and teacher, all knowledge and wisdom gleaned from the Word of God is not just for his personal growth, but food for the extended family of God, as well.

This book reflects Gladstone’s heart for others, and the experience of the power of the Holy Spirit within him as “a form of joy and fear gripped my bones” enlightening scripture to his mind. That we would live the right life, the pure religion, the “careful living”. Chapter by chapter he unpicks from Matthew 5 what our life should – and shouldn’t contain. So read on, learn and relearn the pitfalls of anger, loose talk, lust, adultery, divorce, retaliation, worry, judging - and embrace forgiveness, reconciliation, integrity, love, giving, prayer and fasting, and seeking God’s Kingdom. - Pastor Hugh Chalk.
9th Dec 2019 


THIS WEEK

MONDAY

PRAYER & PRAISE
7.00pm

TUESDAY

ABIDE
Devotional prayer time
9.00am

THE MOSSY CAFE
10am-2.30pm

BABY SENSORY
10am|11.30am|1.30pm

CHRISTMAS SELECTION BOX DISTRIBUTION
6.00pm
WEDNESDAY

THE MOSSY CAFE
10am-2.30pm

SEWING2GETHER ALL NATIONS
"Sharing Lives
Sharing Languages"

10.00am

WOMAN2WOMAN
ONE-TO-ONE SESSIONS

12.00pm

MEN'S GROUP
MEAL AT COSMOS
prebooking required

7.00pm
 
THURSDAY

THE FREEDOM PROGRAMME
1.00pm

SLIMMING WORLD
5.30pm | 7.30pm

LITTLE W2W 
NIGHT OUT
6.00pm
FRIDAY

BUBBLEGUM
& FLUFF

9.00am & 1.15pm

THE MOSSY CAFE
10am-2.30pm

KIDS CONNECTION
CHRISTMAS PARTY

6.30pm
SATURDAY

BABY SENSORY
CHRISTMAS PARTIES

(prebooking required)
SUNDAY

THE MOSSY CAFE
9.30am and
after the service

PRAYER MEETING
10.30am

NATIVTY SERVICE
11.15am
Devotional Prayer Meeting every Tuesday 9.00am
in the Group Room.

Sewing2gether All Nations
Sharing Lives
Sharing Languages

A weekly Sewing Workshop for English language learners to practice conversational English in a supportive environment.
We provide practical support for asylum seekers, refugees and new Scots.

A prayer meeting for the nation of Burkina Faso
and the work of Acacia Partnership Trust is held on the first Saturday
of each month in the Mossy Cafe at 9.30am. 




 
Pray for unity in 
the body of Christ
so that we will glorify God and so the world would know that God sent Jesus.

Street Connect is a Christian charity who reach out to and support disadvantaged and marginalised people, bringing them hope for a brighter and more fulfilling future. Their aim is to support and offer hope to individuals who are homeless, dealing with addictions, suffering mental health issues or experiencing social isolation, including people in prison or those with past convictions. 

They now have a drop-in café every Thursday in the Holy Trinity Church, Bishop’s Court, Paisley, PA3 2AF and would love for you to come in and see what they are doing. 
They are there every Thursday morning from 9.30 for prayer and then drop-in is from 10 am - 1 pm. 
They also run a Recovery Group from 1.30 - 3.00 pm for those who want to go further in their recovery.   

To find out more visit www.streetconnect.co.uk

Facilitated by Lynn Smillie of No Feart,
a CIC set up to help address the issue of domestic violence. 
For details email
Lynn Smillie at info@nofeart.org or phone 07706754817
Welcome to our latest regular hall users:
Care Visions Fostering. 

Their foster carers will be receiving regular support and training here at Mossvale. 

If you are interested in becoming a foster carer they would love to tell you more about it.
Baby Sensory Classes
 
Classes run in the Mossvale Hall on Tuesdays at 10am 11.30am and 1.30pm
and must be prebooked. 

Check out their website to enquire about attending. 
www.babysensory.com

Slimming World
in the Mossvale Hall


Thursday evenings
at 5.30pm & 7.30pm 
We need
your support.
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