Saturday 19 March 2011

Bible Book:

] as his wife." (v. 24)

Matthew 1:18-25 Saturday 19 March 2011


Today in the Church's calendar is marked as the feast day ofJoseph of Nazareth, a largely neglected character in the Jesusstory and someone about whom we know relatively little. Our readingis preceded by the extraordinary genealogy of Jesus the Messiah (Matthew 1:1-17), linking Jesus and Joseph withthe house of David and thus fulfilling the prophecy that this wouldbe the house from which the Messiah would come.

It is generally assumed that Joseph was rather compliant in theevents of the nativity. He apparently takes in his stride theshocking and incredible news that the young woman he is engaged tois "found to be with child from the Holy Spirit" (verse 18). Avisit from an angel in a dream convinces him that all is well andthat he should proceed with his marriage plans undeterred.

Impossible as it is for any of us to put ourselves in Joseph'sshoes (or sandals), it doesn't take much imagination to recognisethat things may not have been quite so straightforward. Our readingtoday provides the bare bones of a story that must have had itsdifficult and perplexing moments. Maybe we should give more thoughtto the realities of Joseph's experience and the doubts andquestions with which he must surely have struggled.

Joseph is portrayed, however, as a decent, honourable and faithfulman, and these qualities enabled him to deal with the challengingcircumstances he faced. As Mary is rightly revered for the willingacceptance of her lot: "Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let itbe with me according to your word" (Luke1:38) maybe more credit could be given to Joseph for his ownfaithful obedience: "When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as theangel of the Lord commanded him."

To Ponder

Try and suspend all your preconceived ideas aboutthis episode and imagine what it might really have been like for ayoung and somewhat bewildered Joseph.

When you have been confronted by surprising orperplexing circumstances how have you coped? And how have youremained faithful and involved God in your struggles?

Previous Page Friday 18 March 2011
Next Page Sunday 06 March 2011