Advent 2020 Reflection – Day Seventeen
Day 17 – 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.
Joseph has something of a shock when he discovers that Mary is pregnant yet he clearly still has care for her as he does not want her disgraced.
I wonder if there have been times when someone has let you down or has taken a path you desperately did not want them to go down. We can be guilty of disappointing others and can ourselves be badly hurt in our relationships with both those we love and our friends. Sometimes the only choice is to break the relationship but when we have to do so we do it in pain and perhaps with feelings of failure.
I am very lucky that I have not really had these experiences so I cannot draw from them. Instead today my thoughts turned to our experiences with our children. The choices they make which make us wonder what on earth the outcome will be. Yet in love we strive to support them, wherever those decisions take them. It is in those moments that sometimes the only action we can take is to pray into the situations and trust both them and God that everything will turn out ok in the end.
We do not have the angel Gabriel come and tell us that everything will be alright but we can be sure that God will be alongside us giving us strength and perseverance. We expend our love and energy in complying with God’s commission to love one another even when it hurts and that love is not returned.
In our time of silence today we remember times when God has calmed our fears. When pain and worry has been lifted from us.
I have chosen an arrangement of the carol The Angel Gabriel which the music group have recorded for our carol service. Although this is a song for Mary it is equally applicable to Joseph who also accepts God’s call on his life.
Loving God fill us with love for each other that reflects your love for us. Your love is patient, so we pray that we will be patient with each other. Your love is kind, help us to be kind to each other. You call us to love one another with a selfless love. So we ask that you will enable us to love each other well.
You are the light of the world, guiding our steps on your path as you guided Joseph and Mary. We pray for the power of your Holy Spirit in our relationships and particularly into our communication. So often we misunderstand and misinterpret each other so help us to communicate well with each other. Help us to listen to each other carefully and speak in love. Take away any bitterness and resentment from our thoughts and words making them those of kindness and gentleness.
We pray that we like Joseph and Mary we will hear your words and willingly follow your calling on our lives. In difficult moments and situaitons we ask that we will remember that you are with us. May your grace and mercy flow over and through every aspect of both our lives and relationships. We pray for these things in the all powerful name of Jesus. Amen.
All images today are from Pixabay.com free for commercial use no attribution.
Bible passage from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
The Angel Gabriel – Translated by S Baring-Gould – Public Domain
Reflection and Prayers: Chris Hancock
Hatfield Road Methodist Church CCLI: 4955 Streaming: 989812
1,875 total views, 3 views today