Monday 20 March 2017

Bible Book:

“Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly.” (v. 19)

Matthew 1:18-25 Monday 20 March 2017

Psalm: Psalm89:26-36


How do you solve a problem like Maria? Well,Joseph thought he knew what to do. He didn't want to harm Mary orcause her more disgrace than was necessary - but nevertheless, hecouldn't very well father another man's child, could he? What a wayto start out on married life - with all notions of purity andloyalty destroyed before any proper union could begin to be formedbetween them. So Joseph resolved to move on with his life - perhapstry again for another bride and let Mary go her own way and facethe consequences of her untimely pregnancy. What choice did hehave? What else could he do?

But it turns out that there was another way,another possibility, another future - if only he could see it. But(like so many of us) he required some help in seeing: he neededdivine intervention to open his eyes to reality and possibility.And so it was that, literally overnight, the world became adifferent place for Joseph and his bride-to-be.

So many of us can feel trapped by ourcircumstances - whether it be finance, work, relationships, poormental health, lack of opportunity … or any number of our ownpersonal constraints. "What else could I do?" we cry to justify thedecisions we wish we didn't have to make. The challenges we facecan box us in and shorten our eyesight: when you're so busywrestling with the immediate issues, it's can feel impossible tolift your eyes to see the bigger picture.

So what does it take to change someone's mind,to offer a different perspective? For Joseph in today's passage,two things seem central:

  • the removal of fear (verse 20)
  • the possibility of an alternative picture of the future

For Joseph - and, I think, for us too - eventhough we may feel trapped and limited by what we face, thereremains the possibility of a different future. God shows up, offerstransformation in the most unlikely of circumstances, and guides usto an alternative path. This alternative future might not solve allour problems - it may even create a few of its own - but it comeswith the assurance that God travels with us and that all thingswork together for good for those who love God, who are calledaccording to his purpose" (Romans8:28).

To Ponder

  • Do you ever think, 'I don't have a choice, what else could Ido?' How true are those words in your circumstances?
  • Do you feel trapped or limited by any circumstances in yourlife? If so, who or what might help you to imagine an alternativefuture?
  • What role might you play in helping others to break out and seethe bigger picture? 

Previous Page Sunday 19 March 2017
Next Page Tuesday 21 March 2017