OFFER THE GIFT OF SILENCE

Tuesday: 18th December, 2018

Reference text: Matthew 1:18-25

Matthew 1:19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.

Many celebrity breakups are often accompanied with the words: ‘A and B have decided to go their separate ways citing irreconcilable differences’, and that is all the information revealed. It therefore takes some digging and real interest to find out the root cause of the split but often, that is where it ends.

Sometimes, the best gifts you can offer someone is the gift of silence – the gift of not putting their weaknesses on display for the world to see. That was what Joseph wanted to do for Mary because getting pregnant before moving in with her husband, put her in a precarious position. All the possible outcomes conceivable, did not end well for her: stoning, disgrace and shame, even the stigma.

These Joseph wanted to avoid and thus made plans to divorce her in secret. And you bet those plans weren’t simple to come up with seeing that the mental exhaustion actually caused him to fall asleep. This may be because Joseph may have had a soft spot for Mary, but it is becoming rarer to see people who go the extra mile to ensure that others are protected and don’t feel any worse than they actually feel, even though situations may be as a consequence of their own choices: we recall that it was Mary who had said Yes to God.

Beloved, it is very easy to distance ourselves from unpleasant situations especially if they have nothing to do with us. However, it takes a really kind heart to be a shield for others when everyone else points fingers. Jesus gave us an example with the woman caught in adultery. So I ask: if our reason for keeping our distance is in the best interest of others, can we not do so without making them feel any worse than they may already be feeling?

Mary had said yes to God, but she had yet to really comprehend what ‘that yes’ meant for her, therefore an open expose wasn’t going to do much good. A prophecy fulfilled, Yes and surely a divine intervention. Nonetheless, on another side, but for Joseph’s patience, silence and obedience; the story of Mary and the saviour she bore for us, may have had a very different outcome.

#sly

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