Matthew 1:18-25 and you

In practicing this story out loud to people — I’m doing it as a layreader at church tomorrow at 8:30 — people are struck by how clear it is that Joseph was not the biological father of Jesus. And one person said, “Is that really in the bible?” {{grins}} I love when that happens when I am telling a biblical story because it means the person is listening.

Oddly the closer I get to “going live for real” with a story the more disastrous all rehearsals go. That just seems to be the way of it, for me. I keep practicing and praying that all will be as it should tomorrow. I think the worse thing I could do is let fear drive me to just read the words. I think the life that is breathed into a story when it is told instead of read is worth the possible stumbles. (Also it is the small service and very few people will be there…..{{grins}})

In practicing out loud the word “you” has struck my ear, especially in this phrase “…, and you are to name him Jesus”. It is perfectly clear that that “you” refers to Joseph and is an action that Joseph is supposed to take, and, in fact, will take. But somehow, in telling the story, the you almost sounds like “you people, all of you” will name him Jesus, especially as the line continues “for he will save his people from their sins.” You. He has come for you, his people, which is everyone, which is you and me.

Somehow I hope that in telling this story tomorrow people hearing will listen and feel invited into the story.




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