Advent 4 – Joseph

They say that you wait ages for a bus to come along, and then two come along together. Well, here I am again for the second time in a month and, not only that, it’s the same Sunday as I talked on last year, The last Sunday of Advent, the last Sunday before Christmas. Last year, the reading focussed on Mary, and I felt fairly out of my depth trying to identify with a 15 year old, unmarried, newly pregnant, woman. This year, the reading focuses on Joseph, which, on the face of it puts me in a better starting position. If it weren’t for the fact that Joseph was in a fairly unusual situation.

Let’s walk this through. Joseph was a righteous man, a just man. So why didn’t he have Mary stoned? How would you feel? Your fiancé comes to you and says she’s pregnant, but you know you haven’t slept with her, and not only that but she says and angel told her it was from God.

I’d be devastated, angry, lashing out, vindictive. And the law says, in Deuteronomy that Joseph would have been well within his rights to have her stoned. But he didn’t. Not because he was merciful, but because he was just.

Continued here…

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