How do you and I get close to Joseph, who was close to Jesus? I am adept at finding fault and zeroing in on what’s wrong with others. But Jesus came so we would not judge, so we could become merciful and receive mercy ourselves. A judgmental thought rings your doorbell? Don’t answer. A critical remark hangs on your lips? Stay silent. An ugly observation about somebody out there, someone you love, or even yourself, suggests itself? Take a breath, and imagine Joseph hovering lovingly next to Mary, whom he could have despised, and over Jesus, God’s love bundled in the manger.
—James C. Howell, Why This Jubilee? Advent Reflections on Songs of the Season (Upper Room Books, 2015)
What can you learn from Joseph about how to treat those with whom you are in relationship?
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Joseph her husband was a righteous man. Because he didn’t want to humiliate her, he decided to call off their engagement quietly. As he was thinking about this, an angel from the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because the child she carries was conceived by the Holy Spirit.”
—Matthew 1:19-20 (CEB)
Prayer for the Week
O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
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(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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