Es Una Historia de Amor, No Se Puede Negar Esa Realidad

Es Una Historia de Amor, No Se Puede Negar Esa Realidad

By Rev. Justo González, II, Pastor, El Nuevo Camino y Pilgrim-St. Luke’s UCC

In Matthew 1:19, we find these words, "Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly."

“It's a love story, after all. The ending has to be good and the beginning had to capture your attention." This phase captures the free Gift of God, born as the Child of Bethlehem, given freely to humanity.”
En Mateo 1:19, encontramos estas palabras, “José era un hombre bueno y obediente a la ley de Dios. Como no quería acusar a María delante de todo el pueblo, decidió romper en secreto el compromiso [de matrimonio].


“Es una historia de amor, no se puede negar esa realidad. El fin del libro tiene que ser bueno and el primer capítulo tiene que captar la atención del pueblo.” Esta frase capta el regalo de Dios, nacido en un pesebre el niño Jesús. Dios ha dado ese regalo para toda la humanidad.  Nos ofrece vida y vida en abundancia.
Joseph was many things. Stupid, however, was not one of the things he was.  He saw that his wife to be was pregnant and he knew that he wasn’t the father. This was a great shame on her and a violation of him as a man, and unacceptable in the Law, followed by the Jewish community. 

According to the law, Mary who was "betrothed to Joseph, (but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit)" would be seen as an adulterer by society and her punishment would be death at the hands of others by stoning. The Law was the Law. There was no way out. Mary would be subject death for her “capital offensive” according to the Law. 
Can you imagine Mary, a teenaged unwed mother (marriage then was a two-step process. They had taken step one and committed one to the other a life of fidelity and love.  After the first step couples did not live together or consummate their marriages [have sex] until a period of time [usually one year] after step one. Indeed, they did not live together and were not fully “legally” married during the period they were betrothed), in court pleading for her life?  “I swear this a child of the Holy Spirit.” Who would have believed her?
It's a love story, after all. The ending has to be good and the beginning had to capture your attention.
What does Joseph's actions of love say about him? May we suggest that in his "unwilling [ness] to expose her shame", he saw the love he fell in love with, uplifted her dignity and honored it. In spite of her being a pregnant teenage mother to be, he saw God's grace in her. He saw the Sacred in her. He would not shame her!
Who has shamed us? Hurt us? Violated us? More importantly can we look beyond our own pain and hurt and see theirs? Can we uplift the dignity of those who violate us? Can be see the Sacred in those we’d rather demonize or call sinners? Indeed, can we see the Sacred, The Christ, within ourselves?  It’s so easy to shame others and beat ourselves up.  However, what good, at the end of the day, does that do? Yes, you may feel better to blast or go off on someone.  Yet, let me suggest that your going there says more about you than them.
A little man or woman beats up another with their actions, deed or words. A BIG woman or man their actions of love, care, compassion allows the violator to see their own faults, acknowledge their own pain, recognize their own violation and creates an opportunity for self-recognition, reflection and ultimately change. 
If you want to kill someone (and the reality is that we all do at some point or another) then do it with love, do with care, do it with compassion, do it with grace.  It is far more effective than beating someone up.  Love them. Trust that God will bring them to a place of reflection and transformation.  Don’t get in the way of God’s work with your silliness, anger or bitterness.  Paz, mi hermano. Paz, mi hermano. Dios sabe lo que hace y porque. 
St, Joseph, instead of shaming her, he protected her. He cared for her, manned-up to being the father of her son and became the male role model for Jesus in his earthly life.
Mary and Jesus get much of the attention in this Christmas Season. Christmas Season runs through “El Día de Los Reyes” and in some faith communities it extends until the “Baptism of the Lord”, the Sunday after “Los Reyes”.  What about uplifting the honorable man who was unwilling to expose her? The one unwilling to shame her which would have meant her death, how about him?
How about celebrating the man who is a man's man and lives out his role as the human father (step-dad) of Jesus? How about acknowledging all the shame that has been imposed on us? — Shame like, "You're not good enough", "you’re too dumb, too poor, too white, too black, too Hispanic, too yellow, too short, too fat, too whatever…"
Let us dare to stand with and embrace the Joseph in our lives that sees dignity and worth and braces that part of everyone. I really mean everyone – even those who have violated us.
Let us remember that real Joseph's don't run away from the fire but stand with the Mary's and Jesus' of their lives. A real Joseph shouts loudly, "esta es mi familia" (this is my family) and "they are worthy not because of what they have, their jobs, their education, etc. but because of God's grace."
It's a love story, after all. The ending has to be good and the beginning had to capture your attention.
The beginning of the Story is God’s Love for us. The end of the Story is God’s Love for us. God NEVER gives up on us or others. It’s a shame that we often give up on other and ourselves. 
My prayer is that “Los Reyes” bring you the gift of LOVE and HEALING and that YOU will share that with others. 
It's a love story, after all. YOU ARE THE LOVED ONE. Receive it. Embrace it. The Child of Bethlehem is all about LOVE for YOU.  Amen. 
We welcome your input. The Rev. Justo González, II, can be reached at justoenc@pslucc.org