Strange Way to Save the World

Dr. Ray Pritchard
Dr. Ray Pritchard
2015 18 Dec

“Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what has been conceived in her is by the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 1:20).

There aren’t many songs about Joseph.

We sing a lot more about Mary, and that’s the way it should be.
I’m sure Joseph would agree.

The Bible doesn’t tell us a great deal about him. He is the husband of Mary and the foster father of Jesus. He’s the person from the first Christmas story I would most like to meet.

When I call Joseph “the forgotten man of Christmas,” that’s not an exaggeration.

So here’s a song about Joseph. If “Breath of Heaven” tries to imagine what Mary was thinking, “A Strange Way to Save the World” puts us in Joseph’s shoes. How would you feel if you were told the baby your beloved is carrying is not yours, was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and he will be called Emmanuel, God with us? That’s a heavy load for a young man. 

Why me, I'm just a simple man of trade
Why Him with all the rulers in the world
Why here inside this stable filled with hay
Why her, she's just an ordinary girl
Now I'm not one to second guess
What angels have to say
But this is such a strange way to save the world

The Bible says Joseph was a righteous man. We know that’s true because when he didn’t understand how Mary got pregnant, he resolved to divorce her privately to prevent her from being publicly disgraced. After he made that decision, the angel came with the news Mary had conceived through a miracle of the Holy Spirit and the baby would be the promised Savior. It was a lot to consider, but somehow Joseph found the strength to believe, so he married Mary and did not divorce her. The song explains the truth this way:

But Joseph knew the
Reason love had to reach so far

Was it really a strange way to save the world? Yes, indeed. We made a mess of things. God had every reason to kill us all. But he didn’t. He said, “I love you too much to let you go.” And after we had trashed everything, God said, “I’m coming down there so you’ll know once and for all how much I love you.” We didn’t pay any attention; it didn’t make sense to us. How could God visit us? But he did—and he came to the world in a very strange way. He entered a virgin’s womb and came out as a baby, born in Bethlehem, a baby named Jesus, born to save us from our sins.

He came and we killed him.
He died and became our Savior.

That’s the good news of Christmas: God has done it all. The only thing left to you and me is to believe. God wrapped his Son in swaddling clothes and said to the whole world, “This is my Christmas gift to you.”

Let’s listen together and enjoy A Strange Way to Save the World by 4Him.

My Lord, I will never understand why you would save someone like me. Help me to make my life one great “Thank you” in return. Amen.

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