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Prayer of Agreement

Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.
(Matthew 18:19)

   A Prayer for Christmas

Father, this joyful day is radiant with the brilliance of Your one true Light. May that Light illuminate our hearts and shine in our words and deeds. May the hope, the peace, the joy, and the love represented by the birth in Bethlehem fill our lives and become part of all that we say and do. May we share the divine life of your son Jesus Christ, even as He humbled Himself to share our humanity. Bless us and let us be thankful for the true gift of Christmas, your Son. O God, you have prepared for those who love you such good things as surpass our understanding. Pour into our hearts such love towards You, that we, loving You in all things and above all things, may obtain Your promises, which exceed all that we can desire. Father God, when Your precious Son became a tiny baby in a stable in Bethlehem in poverty and simplicity, You changed our world. As we imagine those surroundings, we join with the shepherds and the wise men in wonder and praise. We thank You for our material lives, praise you for our spiritual lives, and trust in you for our eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. In Jesus' name and so be it.

Question of the Week
            When were Joseph and Mary                                   considered married?

In Bible times, Jewish marriage customs regarding a couple’s engagement were far different and much more stringent than those we are familiar with today, especially in the West. Marriages were arranged by the parents of the bride and groom and often without even consulting the couple to be married. It was during this betrothal period that the angel Gabriel visited Mary and told her of her impending pregnancy (Matt.1:18, Lk.1:34). Joseph soon became aware of Mary’s pregnancy, and this no doubt was cause for consternation on his part (Matt.1:19). Jewish custom allowed that they be considered as husband and wife, though the marriage had not yet been consummated. Betrothals or marriage engagements in those ancient times were binding and could only be terminated by an official divorce decree. It was then that the angel appeared to Joseph in a dream (Matt.1:20-25) and explained to him that all this was bringing about the fulfillment of prophecy that a virgin would bear a child who was to be the Savior (Is.7:14), and “he (Joseph) did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.” So, Joseph and Mary were actually legally married before the birth of Jesus though their marriage was not consummated physically until after His birth.