Our scripture this week is Matthew 1:18-25.
This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
Joseph seems to be a good and faithful man. He also seems kind in that he “did not want to expose her to public disgrace” (verse 19). God often chooses broken people to be His representatives, but in the case of Mary and Joseph we don’t hear about their flaws, only their love for God and each other.
In their society and time, having a child out of wedlock was a huge thing. It either pointed to infidelity or premarital relations, neither of which was acceptable under the Law. Mary knew the truth behind this, God’s miracle of the Holy Spirit coming upon her, but Joseph was yet unaware. However, rather than an angry and vengeful response, he plans “to divorce her quietly” (verse 19).
Can we choose to be like Joseph when we feel we have been wronged? Jesus would later teach this caring love, being kind even to those who have hurt you. We need to follow Jesus’ instruction and behave as Joseph did – seeking justice but not revenge, loving and obeying God’s Law, but not using it as a weapon against each other.
Loving Lord, we are often hateful toward one another when we are in conflict. Help us to see each other in the light of Your love that we may resolve our issues peacefully. Amen.