Regular nibbles from the Bible. . .come for a bite, leave with an appetite

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight. (Psalm 19:14, MSG)

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


Joseph, chagrined but noble, determined to take care of things quietly so Mary would not be disgraced.

Disappointment. . .failure. . .humiliation. All three of those emotions visit me, during the ups and downs of Christmas and on into the crushing deadness of January, "cold within and without." (One of my favorite opening lines, from Bolt by Dick Francis)

Disappointed . . .because no matter how much I tell myself that I can't expect anything for Christmas, because my remaining family, Jaran's family, celebrates Hanukkah instead, my heart wants more. Disappointed when the few things within my control go wrong.

Failed. . .when my plans fall through, for buying and giving presents, for sending cards, for going to church or having my daily quiet time or any of a dozen projects.

Humiliated? When my family comes and I'm in bed, undressed. When I wait too long or can't get away and soil myself. . .

All of those are true but none of my reasons comes close to what Joseph must have felt when he learned his betrothed was pregnant. With someone else's child.

In the kind of quiet and strong goodness Joseph exhibits over and over, he doesn't go public with his pain. He doesn't seek to judge Mary. He does decide to end the betrothal. And when God tells him to marry her, in spite of the pregnancy, he doesn't hesitate. In spite of all the public humiliation which would come their way. In spite of the gossip which was bound to peg him as the baby's father.

Joseph. Chagrined I understand. Noble I strive for.

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