by Jeff Strite

Joseph Speaks
Jeff Strite
Matthew 1:18-25

(This sermon is done first person. I'm including my actions in the hopes this will help anyone wanting to duplicate some or all of this sermon. The presentation begins with me at the back of the auditorium holding an old looking carpenter's tool. I gradually make my way to the front of the pews while relating the following:)

Abraham begat Isaac.
Isaac begat Jacob.
Jacob became the man we know as Israel, and he in his turn became the father of Judah and his many brothers.

This was the beginning of long line of ancestors that are mine.
My name is Joseph, a carpenter from the town of Nazareth.

In my culture, every Jewish boy and girl was required to memorize their ancestry. Beginning with Adam and Eve, going on thru Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. On thru David and Solomon and the many great kings of Judah.

(at this point I'm facing the audience).

They did this because God had made a promise to my people.
Through the Prophet Isaiah God had declared that "Unto us a child would be given, unto us a son would be born. His name would be called 'Wonderful Counselor', 'Mighty God', Everlasting Father', 'Prince of Peace.' The government would be upon shoulders, and of the increase of his government and of his peace there would be no end."

Every Jewish family dreamed that God would honor them by allowing them to be the parents of this great messiah. They hoped that they would be permitted to raise the next King of Israel - a king promised to bring deliverance from the chains of bondage.

But... I am just carpenter.
A good carpenter, but still, just a carpenter.
I'm neither a prophet nor a priest, nor a man of regal blood such as a prince or king.

And Mary - sweet girl that she was - was of as humble a background as I and my family. We were under no illusions that we could actually become the parents of the great Messiah.

(I put down the carpenter's tool at this point)
Our marriage was arranged... as ...

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