Daily Thoughts : December 21st
Matt 1:18,19 Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
The Advent story is all about people, and people struggle with the difficulties of life. We know the story and what follows and that hinders us sometimes thinking ourselves into the lives of the people concerned.
Here is this young couple engaged to be married. In Jewish culture he is even referred to as her husband. Engagement or betrothal was a very meaningful step; they are almost as good as one. And they are good people, both of them – or so it seemed up until that moment, because it soon becomes apparent that Mary is pregnant. Joseph enquires about this and she tells him it is God. Right! We haven't heard from God for over four hundred years! He obviously doesn't believe her – but he's still a good guy.
Yet he doesn't want to go ahead with this marriage. He can no longer trust Mary because she's obviously got someone else – but he's still a good guy. He wants to do what is right but he still has strong feelings for Mary and doesn't want to harm her, so he determines to quietly break off this betrothal – divorce her, basically. It's a hard and painful decision – but he's a good guy and such people don't want to get embroiled in the messy goings on of others. Our desires for goodness can mean we step away and miss the will of God which we don't recognise because it is hidden from us. Beware.
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