Worship service – December 11, 2022 – “Characters of Advent: Joseph”

During Advent (the four Sundays before Christmas) and on Epiphany Sunday (Jan. 8), we are looking at the Christmas story from the perspective of various characters within the story. Today, on the third Sunday of Advent, Trish introduces us to Joseph.  He is often treated as a by-stander, but he has an important role as Jesus’s adoptive father, life partner of Mary, and provider of the “King of Israel” lineage.  He could have chosen to save his family embarrassment by quietly divorcing Mary, but instead he stepped up to meet the angel’s invitation to support her.

Our services are being held with in-person attendance at 10 a.m. Sunday morning.  Today’s service is provided below in its entirety in video format.  Note that closed captioning is available when “CC” appears in white at the bottom of the video panel. Click the CC to see the text; as it is done with an automated service, there may be errors in transcription.

Advent Candles of Peace and Hope are litAdvent Candles:  Advent is a season of joy. We celebrate the coming of the Christ child with parties and gifts, special decorations and new clothes. We gather with family and friends for special events. We honor long-held traditions. We also reach out to those whose joy is dimmed in this season. Today we light the third candle, the Candle of Joy, for Christ, our joy, is coming.

With the psalmist, let us exult: “Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices; my body also rests secure. You show me the path of life. In your presence there is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures evermore” (from Psalm 16:9, 11).

The joy of the Lord is our strength! Let us bask in the radiance of Christ’s presence as we light the Candle of Joy.

Our Scripture Reading is Matthew 1:18-25 NRSV. Today’s reading is from the gospel of Matthew. It was written 50 to 55 years after the crucifixion of Christ, probably in Syria where there were colonies of Jews who had adopted Christianity. The author includes content from the earlier gospel of Mark and material known as “Q” which is a collection of sayings of Jesus. He also includes additional material that is not found in the other gospels, such as the coming of the Wise Men. His purposes are to show that Jesus is the Christ, that the church includes all, and that the church is called to be righteous beyond what the Jewish law requires. The passage we’re reading assumes we’re familiar with Palestinian customs, such as how being engaged is as firm an obligation as being married. Joseph is shown to be a kind and righteous person, and is guided by an angel in a dream.

Today’s installment of “Good Morning Morgan Hill” features an interview of “Joseph” (Ted Dubbs) by our intrepid KUMC reporter, “Katie Cupcake” (Denise Melroy).  It’s brought to you by Janet Braslin’s “Dolittle Got Nuthin’ On Me” Pet Care.


Trish Catalano
Trish Catalano

The message today from Lay Servant Minister Trish Catalano is “Characters of Advent: Joseph.”

Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is the one true Church whose faith we support with our prayers, our presence, our giving, our witness and our service.
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Credits and copyrights

  • “What Child is This” words by William C. Dix, music 16th cent. English melody. Public domain. CCLI song #30983, CCLI License #2718708.
  • “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” words 9th cent. Latin, music 15th cent. French, arr. and harm. by  Thomas Helmore. Public domain.
  • The King of Glory Comes” words by Rev. Willard F. Jabusch, music trad. Israeli folk song.  ©1966, 1982 Jabusch, Willard F. (Admin. by The Society for the Propagation of the Faith).   CCLI song #2699129, CCLI License #2718708.
  • “Emmanuel” words and music by Bob McGee.  © 1976 C.A. Music (Admin. by Music Services, Inc.). CCLI song #12949, CCLI License #2718708.
  • “Carol of the Bells” words by Peter J. Wilhousky, music by M. Leontovich, arr. by Peter J. Wilhousky.  © 1936 Carl Fischer LLC.  CCLI song #69150, CCLI License #2718708.
  • “Alleluia” words, music by Jerry Sinclair.  © 1972, 1978 Manna Music. CCLI song #16811, CCLI License #2718708.
  • “Soon and Very Soon” words and music by Andraé Crouch, music adapt. by William Farley Smith. © 1971 Bud John Songs, Inc. (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing); Crouch Music Corp. (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing).  CCLI song #11249, CCLI License #2718708.
  • All other text on this page © The United Methodist Church of Morgan Hill.

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