Sunday, December 30, 2007

Joseph, who raised Jesus...

I haven't posted for the past couple of days because I haven't been feeling well. For some reason, it seems that God often chooses to get my attention when I don't feel well. Either that, or I'm more likely to listen closely!

Actually, I guess we must have some kind of agreement in place, that I hope will soon come up for review, because there must be much better ways to help me make spiritual shifts. I'm feeling better today and I'm so glad I went to church (I considered not going).

The pastor talked about Joseph and how powerful it was for him to decide not to do what the Bible said when he found out Mary was pregnant. And he mentioned several things the Bible says that we now question (like women covering their heads). He said something I'd never thought of before, that completely changed the way I look at Joseph and his role in Jesus' life.

He said, "I can understand why the boy that Joseph raised would say something like You have heard 'an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth', but I say to you...'. "

"And I can understand why the boy that Joseph raised would not support stoning the woman caught in adultery but would instead say, let whoever is without sin cast the first stone." After all, that's what should have happened to his mother, but didn't.

I've never thought before about Jesus knowing that about Mary, or being influenced by the kind of person Joseph was, who could decide on his own that in spite of what the Bible said, it would be kinder and more loving and therefore, better, to protect Mary. To be raised knowing that story would be powerful, indeed.

And also, to have a father figure who clearly had a relationship with God and was guided by Him, instead of strictly following the Bible. Who could plot to outwit the ruler of the day because that's what God wanted him to do.

Someone on RevGals mentioned feeling like Joseph is sort of forgotten and undervalued. I remember reading her thoughts and sort of shrugging. Joseph seemed incidental in many ways. But today's sermon really helped me see how big a role he must have played in who Jesus became.

No comments: