Monday, December 15, 2008

Mercy for Joseph, Mercy for Us

Perhaps you've read Luke 2 or Matthew 1 already this Christmas season. Perhaps, like me, you too often gloss over the familiar words of Jesus' birth. How many times have we heard this story? Have you, like me, tended to forget that it is a story about real human beings, facing heartache and pain and confusion before the wondrous joy comes?

Certain Christmas songs have helped me look sympathetically at Mary, but a recent article by Jon Bloom at Desiring God caused me to see Joseph in a fresh light. Bloom imagines the story this way:
A blast of shock and disbelief hit him, blowing away all his coherent thoughts for a moment. His legs quavered. He grabbed at the tree to steady himself. It felt solid, rooted.

He stared at her. He was numb. No words came. Everything seemed surreal.

But there's more to this tale than simply seeing Joseph as a real person--there's an encouraging lesson I'd never seen before. Have you ever struggled with a difficult decision, hoping but not knowing if you were choosing the right thing? Bloom writes:
Joseph was a just man (Matt. 1:19) and assessed the situation in the integrity of his heart, and, I assume, with a deep trust in God. He made the best decision regarding Mary that he could. It turned out to be the wrong one. But God, full of mercy, intervened.

Read the rest of the story about Joseph's Painful Decision and be amazed at the mercy of God.

1 comment:

MInTheGap said...

Thinking about Joseph really is interesting. I mean, in the Arab culture today you can be stoned for not being pure, and back then the Jewish culture was much the same. To find your betrothed with child-- wow. That had to have been difficult!