Day 2 : BETROTHED  Matt. 1:18a  

“Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph,...”

 I think most of us interpret scripture through our cultural lenses. So we hear that Mary and Joseph are engaged and we imagine our modern engagements and parties. There are similarities - but it is much smarter to hear it through the cultural lens within which it was written.

 Engagement looked different in that culture. Less romanticized “falling madly in love”, more practical and pragmatic. I know, that kind of takes some of the sweetness and heart flutter out. But what does it add? More grit and weight and decision - more verb, less noun. This verb love is much more like the love we see and experience from God. I hope I’d choose that over something I “fall into”.

 But there is still this - Joseph has chosen Mary out of all of the other young women of his town. He has decided, “This is the woman that I want to live my life with!” That is beautiful.

 Their fathers and families were likely involved in the decision. They are now promised to each other. They begin planning their life together - dreaming of their home, their family, their future.

They have to think about many of the same things we do - money and work, how to relate and communicate, politics and faith - but now they are thinking about those things together!

 Let’s listen to this movement of their lives together today.


Morning Pause: What do you imagine it was about Mary that drew Joseph to her? What about him would be drawn to those things in her?

 Afternoon Pause: What do you imagine are some of their hopes and dreams and plans as a newly engaged couple? Do you have similar dreams? What are they?

 Evening Pause: Both are people of faith. How do you see God in and around their lives and relationship at this point? (Try to not reflect ahead of the story at this point.) This faith is vital to the rest of their story. How has faith been similarly vital in your story?