Sunday, November 28, 2010

(Two years ago I wrote a devotional, The Christmas Story in 40 Days, describing the events leading up to the birth of Christ. For the next five weeks, I will share a passage from that book each week in my Sunday blog. I hope you enjoy – I will, as during this busy time of the year, I won’t have to write one each week! Have a blessed Christmas season. )

"The birth of Jesus took place like this. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. Before they came to the marriage bed, Joseph discovered she was pregnant. (It was by the Holy Spirit, but he didn’t know that.) Joseph, chagrined but noble, determined to take care of things quietly so Mary would not be disgraced."
(Matthew 1:18-19, from The Message Bible)

In Biblical times, to be engaged to someone was as legally binding as being married. The only difference was that the couple was not yet living together, and thus, unlike many couples today, not having sex. Joseph’s only option, when he found out that Mary was pregnant, was to cancel the marriage contract and divorce her. He could do this publicly, which would mean the masses had the right to stone her. Or he could do it quietly, in front of only two witnesses, which would hopefully save Mary’s honor and her life.

Joseph had a lot to think about. When we are faced with difficulties, do we look at all possible solutions? Or do we just plunge in and do the first thing we think of? Next time you have a challenge to face, look at all your options before taking action. And most importantly, take time to pray.

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