A lesser known Bible trivia is that when Joseph discovered that his soon to be wife, Mary, was pregnant, he decided to keep quiet about this premarital pregnancy to preserve decorum, and his reputation. He planned to quietly separate from Mary later. An angel addresses Joseph’s anxiety about his reputation: “Do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife because what is conceived in her is from The Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son and you are to give him the name ‘Jesus’ because he will save people from their sins.”
The angel is asking Joseph to take his eyes off himself and to focus instead on the child being carried by Mary. Instead of attempting to save himself, the angel points to Christ as The Savior. And this may be the key to breaking from our distress of worrying what others think of us—we should rather think about something other then ourselves.
Author C.S. Lewis described how he struggled to find happiness and how he came to believe in that babe born on that first Christmas. The secret, he says, is not to spend time promoting oneself. Instead, we should seek humility. “Humility,” says Lewis, “is not thinking *less* of yourself, but thinking *of* yourself, less.”
Joseph almost made a catastrophic error by focusing too much on himself, his own reputation. The angel reminded him to look beyond himself, because salvation came not from within, but from without.
And THAT is the Good News of Christmas—the Good News is to be found in the joy we can bring to others.