The Gospel of Matthew

Hello, My name is Sasha and my daughter and I have recently started attending services at St Mary's. I am a teacher by profession and work as a deputy head teacher in a local primary school. I have been a teacher for 20 years and thoroughly love my job. I enjoy reading, cooking and running but never all at the same time.

Matthew 1:18-25

Joseph Accepts Jesus as His Son

18 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. 19 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.

20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."

22 All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 "The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"(which means "God with us").

24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.


Reflection

Whenever I read this passage, I am struck by the actions of Joseph and the wonder of the situation. We find in Verse 18 that Joseph was pledged to be married to Mary but that she was already pregnant. Joseph's response is gentle and quiet and I think this can be underestimated! Mary was "found to be pregnant by the Holy Spirit". I can only imagine Joseph's inner turmoil, disappointment, and confusion. This was what Joseph had envisaged when he asked Mary to marry him and yet, he responds in love. He wasn't happy, he intended to divorce her quietly. It had all gone so horribly wrong. I cannot help but feel for Joseph. I can think of times in life where plans have failed. That feeling where you have done everything 'by the book', you have plans/hopes/dreams and yet somehow, everything appears to be unravelling. I have to confess when things go awry, that my response is not always very 'Joseph-like'. The joy of this passage for me, is in verse 20. Joseph was allowed his moment to feel disappointment. Joseph is not chastised by God. There is no guilt or shame, instead God sends a messenger. He assures Joseph that although none of this is Joseph's plan, it is indeed as it should be. As is confirmed in verse 22, we found out that it was supposed to be, "All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had said through the prophet". In the midst of the apparent disarray and disappointment, God stepped in. So here we are in 2020. Plans almost seem passe and like Joseph, things are beyond my control. I am aiming to be Joseph-like in my responses and remain open to God's message/guidance about how to move forward this Advent.

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