Last Sunday we jumped into the way-back time machine and grabbed “Joseph, the Husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.” (Matt. 1:16)
Joseph was kind enough to accompany us forward a couple millennia so he could explain to us about a father’s tenacious love. Joseph, the only character in the Christmas play who doesn’t say a word, had much to tell us about how he really felt about Mary, Jesus, and God. Joseph had earned a reputation as a righteous man who was highly regarded in the community for his devout obedience to Scripture. When his teenaged fiancée becomes pregnant, Joseph is beside himself with grief because he knows he is not the father. Furthermore, Mary insists that she is still a virgin and somehow her conception is from The Holy Spirit. Far-fetched to put it mildly. However, in spite of what everyone advised Joseph to do (publically disgrace her and divorce her to save his reputation), Joseph didn’t want to hurt Mary because he still loved her.
As the story unfolded, we saw a picture of a man who, against all human reason, decided to tenaciously love his wife and her son. His faithfulness taught us several lessons; perhaps the most important of which is how to love the way God loves. Joseph’s decision to stay as Mary’s husband and raise her child as his own cost him a lot. His reputation as a righteous man was questioned, he lost work, he lost social standing, and he (probably) lived the remainder of his life hearing the gossip about he and Mary’s immorality. Joseph’s decision to be obedient to the messages brought to him by the angels instead of caving in to peer pressure and going along with societal norms made his life difficult. It costs something to love like God loves. It cost God His Son. This week we start a study about how to love like Jesus loves – I encourage you to attend and learn how to love more deeply than you have ever imagined. It will change your life forever.
-Pastor Dave Jones