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Matthew 1:18-21 (Pt. 4)  Thought/Prayer:  Joseph Pondered.  Topics:  2 at end.

“The circumstances of the birth of Jesus Christ were these. After his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they were united in marriage, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. But Joseph her husband, being a kind-hearted man and unwilling publicly to disgrace her, had determined to release her privately from the betrothal. But while he was contemplating this step, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to bring home your wife Mary, for she is with child through the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a Son, and you are to call His name JESUS for He it is who will save His People from their sins.”  (WEY)  (Read these scriptures and more at

Joseph is presented as contemplating what to do about Mary and her unexpected pregnancy before wedlock.  Perhaps this says something about the understanding heart that Joseph had toward Mary.  Of course, we do not know of his first reaction when he realized what had happened, and   maybe speculation about it would be unfair.  But the scripture does say that he contemplated about it, pondering and pondering we would think.  And he surely in all of his confusion – he must have been overwhelmingly confused – was quite prayerful about it all.

This, of course, says a lot about Joseph‘s character.  No matter what his initial reaction may have been, he did not rush to quickly act and in anger thrust Mary out of his life.  No, Joseph contemplated, pondering what to do.  (It seems that both Mary and Joseph did some pondering.  Remember when the shepherds came to see the newborn Jesus?  And they left rejoicing to go tell everyone about this new king who was born?  Luke 2:19:  “But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.”  [AKJV]). 

Of course it is in God’s character to be very exquisitely precise about the man who would bring up the Savior right there in his home, in his carpenter shop.  God would not choose a man of short temper and hasty actions.  No, He chose a man who, in His good character, would try to do right by his betrothed, no matter how great a crushing, unanticipated, unexplained (temporarily) circumstance she brought into his life.  No, before God had sent an angel to Joseph to explain everything, Joseph thought long and hard – and probably constantly— in his heart, concerning Mary and himself – and all of the extended family and their community.

Lord, how thankful we are that You put it into Joseph’s heart to ponder his and Mary’s situation.  And how extremely thankful we are that you sent that angel to explain everything to Joseph in answer to his searching and prayers.  Without Joseph’s cooperation in this entire situation, Your plan for all creation would never have come to completion.  Thank You for the deeply good man Joseph and his good, contemplative heart.

Topics:  Praise God for fathers’ hearts toward their children and that God will turn those whose hearts are not toward their children, to be totally changed and greatly love their offspring, planned or otherwise.
Catholic Charities ministries to women in crisis pregnancies

Posted by Gail Richardson on 12/10 at 06:00 AM
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