“And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.” (Matthew 1:19 ESV)
I like Joseph. As far as he knows, his fiancée has cheated on him and gotten pregnant, and yet he isn’t stomping around and yelling so the whole neighborhood can hear. Instead, he goes home to think it out in peace and quiet. That’s self-control.
And one of the people he’s thinking about is his fiancée, Mary. He’s worried about her future, even though he thinks she’s carrying another man’s child. He doesn’t want her put to shame or harmed in any way. Joseph isn’t out for revenge.
But he can’t see any better way out of this mess than a quiet divorce. And while he’s thinking about it, he falls asleep … only to have God give him a much better solution.
I am glad that God chose a man like this to be the earthly father of Jesus. In his own small human way, Joseph reflects God the Father—wise, slow to anger, quick to show mercy and kindness. Joseph will go on to take excellent care of God’s Son Jesus for the rest of his life. And Jesus will grow up to do the same for us—laying down His life for us, sinners always in need of His mercy, kindness, and love.
Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your patient kindness and mercy. Make me more like You. Amen.
* When someone hurts you, do you withdraw, or burst out in anger?
* When has someone shown unexpected mercy on you?
* How has God’s mercy made it possible for you to show mercy to someone else?
Advent Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Originally published in The Lutheran Hour on December 19, 2022
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights reserved