Wednesday, December 12, 2007

An angel? Uh-huh. Now What???

I do believe it is Grace's turn to post. Can I get an uh-huh?
The message at my church last Sunday was a lot about the story of when the LORD conceived in Mary. But for once, it did not center around her - it was about Joseph.
Imagine this: You're a guy in the very early A.D. (hard, yes but stay with me). One day your bride-to-be comes back from a 3-month visit to her cousin that you've never met. You know she's back, it's been a couple of days, but she hasn't come to see you yet. Curious. She usually comes to your shop every day. But you can't go to her house today on account of all this woodwork to do. You impatiently set to work, keeping a eye on the window. Suddenly, she is in the doorway. Somehow she got in without you seeing her. You start with a smile, but end in a horrified expression as you see her more closely. She is three months pregnant. Screebees! You stand there with your mouth wide open, not saying a thing, not knowing what to think, even though there is an extremely limited list of things to think. She does not seem ashamed. She looks straight into your eyes and tells you that an angel appeared to her and told her that her child was conceived of the Holy Spirit and she would be the mother of God's Son. Uh... well, what would you think if somebody told you that? Sure. No. She's lying or mad. You are still flabbergasted. What to do? What to DO?
"Well," you think. "Disappointing for the poor guy since he doesn't quite believe her. But why is there a dilemma on what to do?" Let's stop imagining and talk about rules.
Rule #1 for your average girl in the very early A.D: If you were engaged, you would already be considered married! You were to stay pure for a year, but in every other way, you were considered husband and wife. Back then, these promises were taken seriously.
Rule #2 for your average girl in the very early A.D: You did not divorce. You just didn't. It was allowed, but if it did happen, you would make the papers and become some sort of strange alien thing to society. Point: it barely EVER happened. What God has joined together let NO MAN put asunder.
Rule #3 for your average girl in the very early A.D: If you were found pregnant without being married, guess what happened - you were stoned. As in, people gathering around you with big rocks and throwing them at you until you died. You stayed pure for your husband - NO EXCEPTIONS!
So these rules are what Joseph was pondering. If he exposed her, the rock-throwing party starts. He doesn't want her dead. Next option: Marry her anyway. But that messes him up. If she's immoral and, knowing this, he marries her anyway, he's considered a bad guy too. Social outcast. Immoral man. There goes the carpentry shop. Last option: That divorce thing. Supposing he did that. Rare, but necessary he supposes. If he puts her away quietly and doesn't call the papers about it, things should be somewhat related to alright. Messy, messy, messy situation. BUT... God told him in a dream that what she said was true, and to marry her anyway. Oh dear. There goes the carpentry shop. There goes his good-guy, law-keeping image. But the Bible says he obeyed right off the bat. Without question. What a guy! That would be a REALLY hard thing to do.
Now for a little food for thought. Let's go over those rules again. But this time, with the opinions of today:
Rule #1 for your average girl in the very early A.D: If you were engaged, you would already be considered married! You were to stay pure for a year, but in every other way, you were considered husband and wife. Back then, these promises were taken seriously.
The average girl in 2007 Argument: If you're engaged, it's fine to break up if you happen to change your mind. And your purity doesn't really matter. As long as you feel good about your own decision.
Rule #2 for your average girl in the very early A.D: You did not divorce. You just didn't. It was allowed, but if it did happen, you would make the papers and become some sort of strange alien thing to society. Point: it barely EVER happened. What God has joined together let NO MAN put asunder.
The average girl in 2007 Argument: Divorce is your choice and right. There's more fish in the sea. 50% of marriages end in divorce? That's fine.
Rule #3 for your average girl in the very early A.D: If you were found pregnant without being married, guess what happened - you were stoned. As in, people gathering around you with big rocks and throwing them at you until you died. You stayed pure for your husband - NO EXCEPTIONS!
The average girl in 2007 argument: Gimmeabreak! That's so harsh! I think we've already established that your purity doesn't matter. Stay pure for your husband? Heehee! Has ANYBODY done THAT? It's old-fashioned and way overrated. It just doesn't happen, ok?
What happened between then and now? Mary's surprise for Joseph happens every day - except without the angel and the Lord and baby Jesus involved. What have we become?

2 comments:

emy said...

hey this is a great post.... me likey it...
call me today!
~Emy

croctoria said...

I LOVE IT!!!! MeggyMeggyMeggyMEGGY!!! you needa write on here more often!!! ^_^ Cause I love reading what you write!!!

Love ya,
Toria