Day #2 of 25
Imagine the time and place – Biblical times; a man and woman are promised in marriage. Back then, there was handfasting – a couple was handfasted for 1 year but did not consummate the marriage until that year was up. This allowed a couple to get to know each other and to prepare themselves for living together.
Imagine yourself as Joseph. You are male, you have pride, you are preparing your home for your wife, for when she leaves her father’s house and comes into yours. Your wife is a virgin, as is expected in those times. Possibly, even you are a virgin. You expect that she will become yours, that you will be the only one to hold her, to care for her, to father her children. You are an honorable man and you expect your wife to be honorable in return. Then you learn the truth – she is pregnant. You have honored her and not lain with her before the appointed time, but she is pregnant. The child is not yours. What a blow you receive!
I am amazed that despite all this, Joseph still cared enough for her that even though he could have her now – not after she dishonored herself and him – but nevertheless, he chose to make sure she was not disgraced by this. He would put her aside, yes, but he would do so quietly. Then God sent his angel with a message for Joseph.
I wouldn’t be overly shocked if Joseph had thought this message to be ridiculous! A baby, born of a so-called virgin, by the Holy Spirit???!!! Nevertheless, thank God, Joseph received that message from the Lord and believed it! Instead of putting her aside he took her into his home and further honored her by not laying with her until after Jesus was born. He gave the child his name and his heritage. He named the child and raised him as his son.
It’s interesting, this example. Many families today are “blended” – a blend of the wife’s and husband’s children from previous relationships. This example, right here, is a big hint to those father’s raising children not of their blood. If Joseph could take in Mary’s child and raise him as his own, then what stops men from doing the same with the children they encounter in their lives today? All right, yes, this was the Messiah we’re talking about – pretty special kid – and Joseph did receive a message from the Lord’s angel – and how many of us get that nowadays – but a child is a child, Messiah or not. Each child has the capacity to change the world. Maybe they won’t die for the world’s sins, but they can cure cancer, find a way to feed billions, save the life of their father. What will be different in your life if you, as a step-father (or step-mother) choose not to love that child as your own? What will be different in your life if you do?
Thank you Lord Jesus,
for the fulfillment of your promises and our salvation in the form of Yourself, walking on this earth, in fleshly form. Though I cannot, at this moment, think of a request You have made of me recently that I find ridiculous, should I remember one, help me to leap in with both feet. Even if the request isn’t ridiculous (to my mind), help me to follow all of your requests.