Sunday, December 05, 2010

Joseph's Mercy

The young woman stood in front of him
Head downcast, eyes staring at the ground.
Tears, filled with fear, dripped into the sand.
Men held her arms in a tight grip,
Making marks of shame in her skin.

The Pharisees told of her sin,
Unforgivable sin, to be beaten into the earth
By stones.
They stood by the law,
And he saw their sin for what it was.
Graceless. Unloving.

He saw how they were using the woman
For their own purposes,
Caring not for obedience to God
But only of securing themselves
Against the threat
That stood in front of them.

Jesus remembered Joseph,
And the stories he had told him.
Instead of a shamed woman and angry men
He saw Joseph.
He pictured the broken-hearted man
Who had believed his betrothed had sinned.

He remembered the story.
He pictured Joseph, sitting on the ground
Outside the home he had been building
For his new family.
Sitting in the dirt,
Holding a piece of wood
Dragging it aimlessly through the sand.
His dreams destroyed.

Until an angel had come
And had shown him the way out of judgment
And into mercy.
Joseph had stood by Mary
Against the stones.
Against the ridicule.
In obedience to the Father.

And Jesus witnessed mercy
In the life of Joseph.
The son demonstrated
What the Father had taught the man
Through an angel.
He stood by the woman.
Showing love, grace
Showing Joseph’s mercy.

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