DAY 23: The Holy Family

Matthew 1:18-19 – “This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged in marriage to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and was unwilling to disgrace her publicly, he resolved to divorce her quietly.”

We often refer to Jesus, Mary and Joseph as the Holy Family, and we tend to think of them as the perfect, idealized family. (Picture a stereotypical Christmas card with radiant beams of light cascading down on the manger and halos for everyone.)

But do you realize how unideal this family was?

Mary became pregnant out of wedlock and experienced a teenage crisis pregnancy.  Joseph wondered who the father was and planned to divorce her.  He was devastated, her family was stunned, and baby Jesus was shunned.  (Like so many men today, Joseph planned on abandoning Mary and leaving the child in her womb without a father.)

Just think about the words Matthew uses in these two verses: she was found… disgrace… divorce. Add on top of that the fact that they were poor, powerless, homeless and helpless, and you start to see why this was a less than ideal family situation!

I wonder why the Son of God chose to come into the world under those circumstances?

I think he chose a less-than-ideal family situation so he could relate to our less-than-ideal family situation… and we could relate to him!

There are so many broken, hurting families in this world, and Jesus understands the pain and difficulty of family life.  But no amount of difficulty can justify abortion.

Mary chose life when her circumstances seemed overwhelming and confusing.  Joseph chose to be a husband and a father, and he adopted Jesus as his own son.  Motherhood, fatherhood, crisis pregnancy, marriage, divorce, adoption, and family commitment – it’s all right there in the first book of the New Testament!

The truth is every family is a less-than-ideal family.  But every family can become a holy family if Christ is at the center.

Suggested things to pray for:
  • Pray for God to strengthen families and create holy families with Christ at the center. 
  • Pray for young people facing crisis pregnancies (like Mary and Joseph) to choose life!