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. 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.

– Matthew 1:18-19 (NIV)

Today’s commentary
by Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor, GraceNYC.org

We can easily turn the Christmas story into a lot of warm fuzzy feelings, but the Biblical narrative has more dimensions than that. To be engaged at that time was more binding than it is today, so the culturally correct way to end the engagement was with a divorce. But don’t blame Joseph for his intents, because Mary’s pregnancy was not only a lifelong mark of shame for her, but for him as well. Yet out of their shame would come redemption, for God can use the times in our lives that seem scandalous to display His glory to the world.

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