Our Advent Study this year was Adam Hamilton’s “Faithful – Christmas Through The Eyes of Joseph”. Melba Dobbins, who led this year’s study, summarized the class this way:
Joseph’s place in the nativity story is often overlooked. There is relatively little in the Gospels about him. We know he was a compassionate man, evidenced by the fact that he married Mary to save her reputation among her people. Questions such as how old Joseph was when Jesus was born, had he been married before he married Mary, and did Joseph die before Jesus began His ministry were a large part of the discussions.
There are interesting stories about Joseph and his relationship with the young boy Jesus written by the apocryphal writers, but no one knows if they are really true. Joseph was a carpenter, and it is believed that Jesus worked alongside him and learned the trade. Joseph was a loving, compassionate, forgiving man, and he taught these traits to the young Jesus. A quote from the book tells it all: “This is the gift of Christmas: being found and finding, being held and holding, being safe in God’s arms and being saved by God’s arms. I wonder if Jesus didn’t first experience this gift in the loving arms of Joseph.”