Beloved Lovers

Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do 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 as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us.” When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus. Matthew 1:18-25

The God of the Old Testament, Yehovah and Elohim, the God who is faithful and true, who is all loving-kindness, came into our world in the Son — gave Himself for our salvation. This is why the cross is right at the center of our faith. He who is love, peace, truth, righteousness, faithfulness gives Himself for us and to us. He lives in us. This is glory, fullness of being. This is identity. [1]

By His coming, Jesus restored us to the love that flows between Father and Son; He lives in us so that we might know we are beloved sons and daughters. As our hearts come alive, we discover that we’re not just needy objects of love, but also generative lovers who desire the good of others. Like Joseph, we have something real to give Him: ourselves.

PRAYER

Lord Jesus Christ, I thank You for how Your glory awakens my glory and Your fullness of being becomes mine. Your deep calls to my deep, and my heart rises in love. I give myself to You Lord. Have Your way in me. Burn away impurity, warm coldness, and love Your world through me.

[1] Leanne Payne, The Broken Image (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 1981), 141.
Painting: Guido Reni, 1640, Saint Joseph and the Christ Child [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
Meditation prepared by Sarah Colyn, drawing on the writings and ministry of Leanne Payne.