One of my Advent sermons for children

My name is Joseph. I am a carpenter from Nazareth, and I’m also the husband of Mary. We have a son who is named Jesus, and he is the apple of my eye – I just love him to bits and pieces!

You know, sometimes our God works in the most mysterious ways! I am a God-fearing man, and I obey all of the commandments in the Law of Moses – I always have, ever since I was a young boy, since I was your age. The most important commandment given to us through the Law was “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your mind, all your soul, and all your strength,” and that is how I try to live every moment of my life. Of course, this is not always very easy. But then again, I’ve found that nothing worth doing ever is.

My son, Jesus, is a very special child. You may have heard of him. But just in case you didn’t know, I’m actually not his real father. God is. How is that possible, you might ask. Well, I’ll tell you, what is impossible for humankind is possible for God.

A few years ago, before Mary was carrying Jesus in her womb, I was a young man who was very proud of being from the House of David – I could have been a prince, you know! King David is one of my ancestors, so I have royal blood in me. Well, I was engaged to this beautiful young woman named Mary. Ah…(sigh) she was the most beautiful woman I’d ever laid my eyes on. Everything was going well with wedding preparations, and suddenly one day, Mary told me that she was pregnant. At first, I was so shocked I didn’t know what to say, I just couldn’t believe my ears! You see, in my culture, a woman got into very big trouble in front of everyone for something like that – it was a crime to be pregnant before marriage.

But before my mind could go all over the place, Mary told me with a quiet, steady voice, “Joseph, I have been chosen to carry the son of the Most High who will be given the throne of David! The Holy Spirit came upon me and the power of the Most High came over me like a shadow and I conceived.” At first, I thought maybe she had gone crazy or that she might be lying to me so she wouldn’t get in trouble, so I was very confused and upset. I took my broken heart to God in prayer and wondered what I should do. I couldn’t tell anyone else because it would get Mary in a lot of trouble, so I just prayed and prayed for days and nights! Even though I really liked her, I wasn’t sure if I should believe her – it was just too crazy of a story, you know? And, the reality was, since she had become pregnant without being married, then according to the law, she deserved punishment.

Finally, because I had no evidence to prove whether she was guilty, innocent, or just crazy and also because I did not want Mary to be embarrassed in front of everyone, I decided to secretly break the engagement and call off the wedding. You don’t know how sad I was, but I felt it was the right thing to do. I went to sleep crying that night, dreading the morning when I would have to go to Mary’s father and tell him my decision. “Poor Mary…” I thought.

But you know what happened RIGHT when I decided to do that? That night I had a dream and angel of the Lord appeared to me saying, “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. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” Well, what do you know! It turned out that Mary WAS telling the truth! I was so happy and relieved, but also very confused – why would God have chosen Mary and now me to become the parents of His one and only Son who would be the Messiah, the one we had been waiting for.

I didn’t understand, but I obeyed, because that is a way of showing my love to God. The next morning, I told Mary about the angel who came to me in the night and I promised not to tell anyone else about it until the child was born. We were married right away, and soon after we went to Bethlehem for the census to be counted as a part of the population. It was there that Jesus was born in a manger, and more miraculous things happened to us, one after another – we even got a visit and precious gifts from wise men who had traveled from the far East to see our baby! It was all so amazing, but that should be no surprise, for our God is an amazing God. When we trust and obey Him, wonderful and amazing things happen!

I still don’t understand why God works the way He does, but I trust that He knows everything and that He loves His people, including you and me, so all that He does if rot he best. And when we trust and obey His words, great and amazing things happen.

I am Joseph, a humble carpenter from Nazareth, and I am the proud husband of Mary, and also the father of Jesus, who is the Son of God, and the promised Messiah. And this is my story.

Thank you.