By: Brittany Fiscus
Reflection—v. 19, ‘Joseph… a righteous man’
When Joseph learns of Mary’s pregnancy, the passage says he acted as a ‘righteous man.’ Even before divine intervention, Joseph is a good enough bloke not to subject his soon-to-be wife to public ridicule. Still, this story would be disappointing without the angel’s intervention. Because even though Joseph did the ‘righteous thing,’ he still almost left Mary high and dry. Instead, God interceded to say that God’s expectations were bigger even than those of a ‘righteous’ person. Joseph was called to be a part of God’s breaking into our world, and the messiness of doing God’s work in a human world: a world where unwed mothers are ridiculed in public, the homeless are turned away at the inn, and those in positions of political power lash out in fear and paranoia. God calls upon Joseph, and us all, to not just be ‘righteous’ but to be radically, absurdly, impractically active in the work God is doing. Fortunately, just as Joseph was by the angel, we too are assured that in this messy and relational work we need not be afraid, for it is the work of the Holy Spirit and God is with us.
Prayer Inbreaking God, empower us to be radically righteous this and every day.