No matter how you choose to celebrate Christ this season, let the Messiah–not the mayhem–reign in your quiet Christ-focused heart.
Read: Matthew 1:18—19
18 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.
Reflect: To the Jewish people, engagement was equivalent to marriage–except they did not live together or consummate until marriage. If an engaged woman became pregnant, it would’ve been considered adultery (see Deuteronomy 22:13—21). Therefore, Joseph had decided to “divorce her quietly,” which was honorable despite the heartache Joseph must’ve felt at this time. When you’re hurt or rejected, what’s your initial response? Our flesh would want to disgrace the other person (the more public the better!); yet, the heart of Christ is that despite the person’s dishonor, we choose to honor God and move forward quietly.
Respond: Gracious Father, you have dealt with me in patience and love time and again, yet I continually call out the speck of sin in another person’s eye. Teach me to love others right where they are and to be patient even when I’ve been hurt and want to make a public spectacle of them!
Tot Time: Being hurt by someone else is never fun. Talk with the little ones about a time when their feelings were hurt and how it made them feel. How should we respond in these situations? Then, ask them about a time when they’ve hurt someone else and how they should change their behavior.