Monday, 12 December 2016

Tough Lessons - Sunday 11th December 2016

Why doesn’t God make life easier for us? I suspect we have all asked that question.
I feel a lot of sympathy for Joseph. God sent an angel to Zechariah to announce John the Baptist’s birth. He sent an angel to Mary to announce Jesus’ birth. But no-one told Joseph what was about to happen. The first thing that Joseph knew was that his fiancee was pregnant, and the baby wasn’t his. Heartbreak!
Why didn’t God make it easier for him?
Joseph then faced a dilemma: he was a man who closely followed a religious law which required that Mary should be severely punished (even be stoned to death); but Joseph loved Mary deeply and didn't want to hurt or shame her. It was a painful dilemma which probably consumed his energy for a considerable time. After much heart searching, Joseph resolved to divorce Mary as discreetly as possible. It was only then that God sent an angel to explain what was going on.
Why didn’t God contact Joseph sooner?
Joseph’s dilemma is one that leads to the very heart of Jesus’ mission: law and/or love. Jesus’ message - in word and action - was that God does not deal with us according to our failures; he deals with us according to his great love for us. If Joseph was going to bring Jesus up and be his father, he needed to learn this truth right into the very core of his being.
God’s desire for each of us is not that we have an easy life. His desire for us is that we learn to be loving and forgiving. That requires a learning process that cuts right to our hearts.

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