Joseph gives, lament 5

20 Oct

Joesph’s spoken words never appear in the scriptures. He is not even quoted; paraphrased or summarised. He dreams, listens, and then gives. His lament is unspoken; yet his actions speak and in speaking help cover his unvoiced sorrows:

Joseph’s first dream

from Matthew 1: 18 – 23

This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). 24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.’

Joesph gives faith

Joseph gives in 4 ways in this text. Verse 19 tells us his first giving, ‘Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law,’ Joesph gives his heart and mind to the law of his people and his God. Faithfulness is his first gift in the passage.

Joesph gives grace

‘…and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.’ Here is the second half of verse 19. The scripture here partners Joseph’s faithfulness to the law with his grace toward his intended wife, Mary. He understands the law fully, complete yet as a picture, a trope, of his God. He gives grace. All will be done quietly. No exposure. No stoning. No voiced laments of judgement or accusation. Joseph gives grace.

Joesph gives deep, deep thought

20 ‘But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife,…’ Joesph considered. He gives his deepest thoughts to his plan of quietly putting Mary away. He is not rash in word or action. Quietly, privately, silently, he puts his lament away. His thoughts are his own: only the spirit knows them. And the spirit, through an angel speaks to them,

Joesph gives a name

‘… because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Joesph gives the name of salvation , Jesus, to his child. He will be an earthly father to Jesus; a teacher, mentor to this, his child. He gives identity and a carpenter’s touch, his hands to his son. He loves Jesus, with a father’s love.

Joseph’s lament is overflowing, faithful love. His unspoken lament gives.

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