Confession and Matthew

Confession time. My blog is full of good things. It’s not entirely true. I try to keep things clean here; limit my language and try to put up a happy and good front. I am not being hypocritical. I just think it takes a lot of effort to swear when you text; there are better ways when typing to get a point across. Yes, I swear. I cuss like the sailor I used to be. I also drink, when the situation warrants, and smoke like there’s no tomorrow.

I call myself a Christian, when, in reality, I am learning. I make a whole-hearted attempt, every morning, to live my life as God would want me to. I fail, every day. I forget to read my Bible every day. I forget to pray every day. I’ve taught my children to pray over their meal but don’t remember to teach them to pray before bed and in the morning when they rise. I’m not perfect. I’m so far from even close to perfect, it’s pathetic.

See? Right there. I had to pause and retype that last sentence. What I wanted to say was, “I’m so far from even close to perfect, it’s damn-near pathetic.” I modified my language to make it easier for the reader and, quite honestly, to train myself to get my point across without foul language. Believe me, it’s hard!

I’ve been making quite a few changes in my life and trying to restart in my 40th year. A reset, as I say about my boys. When they are having a rough time and nothing is going right, they are crying constantly or fighting incessantly, I call for a “reset their clocks.” This is not the same as my dad “cleaning our clocks” when my brothers and I were small. A “reset their clocks” means to redirect, refresh, renew what is going on with them as an attempt to stop whatever is happening.

This entire 40th year of my life is about a “reset.” A redirection on where my life was headed. To that end, I’ve been reading a bit of my Bible. Obviously not every day, as I should, but I am trying. Recently, I started reading Matthew in the Bible. At one point, in my reading, the Nanny did something that really hurt my feelings. As a “punishment,” I told her to I would do nothing for her, not a thing, until she copied the book of Matthew (word for word) by hand. My dad, when I was small, made me write the Bible, cover to cover, over the summer and winter break for failing classes in school. It was to “keep me busy” and “give me something to do and learn,” since I wasn’t learning at school.

So, amazingly, the memory popped in my head and that’s what I told the Nanny to do as apology to me for what she had done. I won’t post it here. That’s between her and I. I tell you all this because, the next morning, I relented on her writing it and we started going through, section by section, and talking about it. So, instead of writing it, she has to sit down and chat about each part with me. Sounds fair to me; I’m not sure she would agree.

While we were doing this, I had a thought. Why not put what I’m reading and what I’m thinking out here, where y’all can see it, and perhaps you can add to it or correct me if my thought processes are wrong? Doesn’t the Bible say to seek out a group of believers to join with so no one goes astray from what the Bible is trying to teach?

I won’t copy the Bible word for word; however, I will type out each section before I discuss what each part means to me. Please enjoy – or skip over these posts if you wish.

Matthew 1:18-25

“This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledge to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 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.

“But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name of Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.’

“All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ (which means ‘God with us’).

“When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.”

If you actually read this, it is quite interesting. The faith of Joseph when finding out his bride was already pregnant. If that were to happen in today’s day and age, I think there would have been a fit of monumental proportions. Yes, we get pregnant out of wedlock all the time, as a generation, but when you are betrothed and were not with anyone (that the husband-to-be knows about) and turn up pregnant!? I think they would have their own spot on Steve Wilkos or some other talk show. Proving they didn’t have an affair, that they were true and faithful to their intended. Medical tests to prove whose child is is and then, if the blood test came back to point the finger at no one, a lie detector test issued to prove they had been faithful.

Can you imagine Joseph? So proud and in love with Mary and then being told she’s pregnant. And then, to find out that (obviously the baby wasn’t his, right) he can’t touch her until she gives birth? In that day and age, sex before marriage was a huge taboo and, didn’t Joseph live a pious life? If he had, then he would have been a newly married man and unable to have sex with his wife!

I have found a book at an antique store. The Greatest Story Ever Told: A Tale of the Greatest Life Ever Lived by Fulton Oursler. I believe I have an original printing. The inside cover speaks of 1949 and no other date and during the introduction, it discusses the various means that came about in writing the book. How it all came about is as fascinating as the story inside. Well, not completely. It’s pretty cool, though!

The beginning talks about Joseph as a real man, with real wants and desires. I haven’t gotten to the point of where he finds out his intended is pregnant, yet. However, I’m learning a lot about him as I read.

I tell ya, that one section in the book of Matthew speaks of the devotion and love of Joseph for his God. To believe and trust and obey in a such a time takes faith of monumental proportions!

Trust, faith, obey and believe. Isn’t that the struggle I am on, right now?

Thank you for listening,

Naia.

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