The 4th Advent Promise of Love

Deacon Erin’s Weekly Lectionary Reflection
Matthew 1:18-25

This week we hear the story of Joseph from the gospel of Matthew. Not the primary Christmas story for sure!

In the holy family, Joseph can be a bit of a silent participant. For if Jesus is the son of God, what role is there for Joseph?

While none of us are likely to be presented with the calling of Mary, all of us can stand up as Joseph did – standing beside others who need our love and support. Even when the situation could bring judgement. This text shows how Joseph struggled with what to do when he learned that his fiance was pregnant. The law is clear, so as a righteous man he planned to end the engagement. God however works in mysterious ways. So Joseph, acting on faith in the message from the angel keeps his promise to marry Mary and names the baby – thus claiming him. In bible times, there wasn’t really a “step-father” kind of role. By naming the child, as the angel instructed, publicly Joseph was claiming a child he knew wasn’t his and pledging to raise him.

Can you imagine what would have happen to Jesus and Mary if Joseph hadn’t done this?

This week we light the 4th candle – the candle of love. Through the mystery of the Incarnation – God, who is love, became flesh to be with us. Emmanuel, the name given to the baby means God with us. With love incarnate coming to earth – may we keep ourselves open to feel God’s love around us and to share it with others. Just as Joseph models for us.

I wonder how God’s love has touch and transformed your life?

I wonder how God’s love is moving you to action today?

Peace~Deacon Erin



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