Then & Now - Week of December 28

"The Unsung Hero of Christmas"

Matthew 1:18-25

I can count on both hands the number of Christmas carols that mention Mary. But is there even a song written about Joseph? He's the forgotten man of Christmas. We celebrate everything, from reindeers to chestnuts to mistletoe, but we forget poor old Joseph. Even the wise men have their own ditty.

But Joseph is the unsung hero of Christmas. Imagine how hard his life must have been. He finds out his girlfriend is pregnant, but the child is not his. Then Mary tells him that she's a virgin and the child is from the Holy Ghost. I'm sure he wanted to believe her, but I'm sure he had doubts.

But Joseph was a young man who could be counted on to always do the right thing. And so rather than embarrassing Mary, he tried to find a way to protect her. In those days, a woman who was pregnant out of wedlock could actually be stoned. She would definitely be an outcast and shunned by her family.

Then the angel of God visited Joseph and confirmed Mary's story. That baby was no accident. That baby was conceived in Mary, a virgin, by the Holy Spirit. That baby was the Messiah, Jesus the Christ. Yes, Joseph would have a courtside seat to the greatest story ever told. God's unfolding plan of salvation and redemption.

God knew he could trust Joseph with this incredible mission, because Joseph always sought to do the right thing in whatever situation he found himself in. It would be Joseph's job to raise Jesus as his own son.

Joseph was trustworthy. Joseph was honest. Joseph had integrity.

Could that be said about you this Christmas? Are you a young person who can be trusted to always do the right thing, even if it costs you something? Teens with integrity are rareā€”so precious that they shine light bright lights in a world of darkness.

Be that bright light this Christmas.

Daniel Darling is an author, pastor, and public speaker. His latest book is Crash Course, Forming a Faith Foundation for Life. Visit him on Facebook by clicking here, follow on him on Twitter at, or check out his website: