Today was the fourth Sunday of Advent. Brad greeted us and reminded us about the message Elsa gave last week about Mary. Today, Brad would be presenting the birth and life of Jesus from Joseph's point of view.
Announcements chiefly centered on the times for next weekend's Christmas services. Our Christmas Eve service will be at 4:00 p.m. next Saturday. Christmas day there will be no Sunday school and we worship here at 10:15 a.m.
We also sang Happy Birthday for Don Bodin who turned 89 today.
Darlene's rendition of The First Noel was heart-warming and a fitting intro to our time of worship and the singing of carols. After the offering and prayers, Elsa read from Matthew 1:18-25 and Ed Newman sang Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence. Pastor Brad then stepped forward wearing a carpenter's belt heavy laden with tools to deliver the message.
Joe the Carpenter
Actually, Brad didn't really preach this morning. He play-acted a role, the story of Joseph based on the Haddon Robinson's sermon titled The Neglected Joseph Davidson, which begins...
I think I had better introduce myself. My name is Joseph Davidson. Many of you already know me. I've been hanging around Christmas for a long time. But I suspect that you do not know me very well. Sometimes I feel a bit like the father of the bride in a wedding. Nobody notices him, but he has to pay for the whole affair. I know that you enjoy celebrating Christmas, but I want you to know Christmas cost me a great deal. Let me tell you a bit about myself.
Robinson's creative approach to telling the age-old story can be read in its entirety here. But to really enjoy the full impact, Brad's live "performance" is something not to be missed for the freshness and life he brings to it.
It's good to be reminded of the struggles, the doubts, the pain and confusion, the rough circumstances that were all part of the real story which sometimes gets overlooked in the comfortable surrounding of our modern world. The fresh approach is a tool to help us get through our preconceptions to the earthy realities we often miss. Joseph was real person. Mary, too. And God, creator of the universe, became a baby. When you see a nativity scene or a creche, remember, it really happened.