18 December 2010

Grace and Disgrace

"Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. 
Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.
But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. 
Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,

Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:

And knew her not until she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS. (Matthew 1:18-25)
That’s one of my favorite moments in the Christmas story… where Joseph, trusting and obeying God, does what doesn’t make sense… at least in the ways of this world.
  • He, just like Jesus, made himself of no reputation.
  • By not "putting away" his pregnant fiance… their community would have assumed he was the father... that Joseph had committed a disgraceful sin. 
  • Just like Jesus, he offered amazing grace, the kind that can only come from heaven, to his wife-to-be.
  • Joseph willingly put on the robe of her disgrace, wearing Mary's shame with her, all in obedience to his Heavenly Father.
  • In heaven's accounting, the ignominy, dishonor, humiliation and possible ugly rumors or those early moments were a precious gift. Mary... and Joseph, it appears,... where highly honored, esteemed and trusted by God.
 I’ve always wished we knew more about Joseph…

It reminds me of another person I've been studying recently, the father in the parable of the prodigal son… who embraced his wandering son… humbled himself, making his son’s disgrace his own in running to him and welcoming him home.

Isn't this just like God using the foolish things to confound what we deem wise? Often, to truly extend grace  to others, we must put aside our own concerns of what others think... we must be willing to accept their disgrace, sometimes even to the point of wearing it as our own…

And I'm not very good at that...

No comments:

Post a Comment

Stop in for a chat! I love to hear what you have to say ~


Related Posts with Thumbnails