Devotion for the First Sunday of Advent

Categories: Devotion

Sunday’s Big Question
The Advent Season is rapidly descending upon us. The question of the season is: What Child is This? or, Who is Jesus?

This Sunday’s Question is: Joseph Did You Know?
Our Scripture is Matthew 1:18 – 25

(v19) Because Joseph her husband was faithful/righteous (GK: di-kai-os) to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

faithful/righteous
The greek word is dikaios, which means righteous/just in accordance to the law, one who trust and obeys the divine decrees in relationship with God and others; one who truly fulfills the law, doing God’s will, living God’s way, party on God’s way; one who is obedient to the commands of God.

What does it mean to be righteous?
It just depends on who you ask. There are many different answers to this question. But in our story this Sunday, our question will focus on “How did being righteous drive the decision making of Joseph?”

In the above passage (Matthew 1:19); Joseph decides to “not to expose Mary to public disgrace” thus “he had in mind to divorce her quietly.”

Was Joseph’s decision to “divorce quietly” an act of compassion/grace? He did have other options, some of which were more violent and acceptable of public opinion.

At this moment, Joseph DID NOT KNOW to the full extent the direction of this gospel story.

What is apparent is that Joseph is going against culture in how he is handling this “crisis” that begins the gospel story. He is a person that acts in a righteous way and not in the way of culture.

We may wrestle with what does it mean to be righteous in our lives? We have options on how to respond to the many different types of “crisis.” We may choose between grace and violence.

God calls us to a less violent life style and a more gracious life. There are times our response is one that goes against culture as we walk in the way of Jesus.

Author: stan@stmatthewsnp.com

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