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Daily Devotions – The Scandal of Christmas

 

Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart: http://sothrichfield.podbean.com

 

 

Matthew 1:18-19 (NIV)
Joseph Accepts Jesus as His Son
18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

 

Christmas is over, but yesterday’s sermon focused on the story of the magi, or “wise men” which is just a piece of Matthew’s telling of Jesus’s birth. So in the words of Paul Harvey, this week we will look at “the rest of the story”. We meet a man named Joseph legally engaged to a young woman named Mary. Shockingly, Mary is found to be with child and Joseph is not the father. Yet Joseph does something amazing. He cares so much for Mary, even though he believes that she has been unfaithful, that he does not publicly humiliate her, which he has the right to do. Sometimes others hurt us, and we might be “right” to hold it against them. But Joseph shows another way: mercy and compassion. Let us ask God to give us hearts of mercy and compassion whether it be in our homes, at work, at the store, or any place we go.