Mysterious and Messy

Moniqua Scott | Dec. 7, 2021

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. 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. 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. - Matthew 1:18-21 (NIV)

I tend to read scripture in my teacher voice.

After teaching elementary kids, it’s hard not to read things with expression and a ton of animation. So it didn't surprise me at all that when I read “but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit” there was an OH SNAP, that came out of me.

Beyond needing to believe by faith what is scientifically impossible, this is just MESSY.

Place yourself on the scene – this is a scandalous affair and worth not just glossing over because we’ve heard it so often. I’m not sure who would have it worse, is it Joseph, or Mary? If you’re Mary, sure you get to be a vessel used by God, but what will everyone think? How could one possibly expect to be believed? Now imagine being Joseph. You roll up on your donkey to take Mary on a date thinking it’ll be a party of two, and yet it’s a party of three. I imagine he might feel something like shame, embarrassment, anger, and massive anxiety about what to do next.

I think we all can identify with the need to trust God even when others might not understand. Living as a Christian in this broken and complicated world is messy. We all walk through seasons of the unknown. But here is what I’ve found to be true, what Matthew 1:18-21 shows so clearly: God uses the mysterious, messy, and unknown to arrive on the scene and show out for His glory. God chose a messy situation to bring in His Son, who would grow up to be the Savior of the world. Let that sink in. He doesn’t tell Joseph it would be easy, nor does He guard him against the cultural implications of a pregnant fiancé, He tells him “Do not be afraid.” In other words – trust me.

What faith it must have taken to be Mary and Joseph!

Peace is not the absence of challenging circumstances, it’s the freedom from being afraid because you know God is in control of it all. It comes when placing unwavering trust in Jesus. Mary carried the Prince of Peace in her womb, and then in His lovingkindness, He extends peace to us. Jesus says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)

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We thank you for the sweet peace we find in You. We choose to trust You at any and all cost. We lay our worries and anxieties at your feet, knowing that you are fully in control. Help us to trust you more and more. May we, like Mary, be vessels for your glory.