We left Joseph and Mary in a state of rejection. Yes, there was mercy, but in the end it looks like each of them have rejected the other. Mary is pregnant and not by Joseph. Joseph will not raise the child with her and plans on divorcing her. Even with his generosity, this is not a good place to be.
But things are about to change.
The angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do no be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home.
–Matthew 1:20, 24
We saw the almost unfathomable mercy Jospeh offered to Mary and how that mercy is extended to us, but that isn't the end of the story.
Mary was forgiven, we are forgiven. But we are also brought back home. Joseph takes Mary and makes her his wife, promising to raise the child as his own. They are not going to be three separate lives, but they will be a family founded on grace and mercy.
Again, Joseph shows us what we are preparing for this Advent. The price for our sins will be paid. We will see that on the cross. But the story doesn't end there. We are welcomed back home. We aren't meant to live separately and forgiven. We are family and we are treated as such.
The prodigal son knows what he is done and that he only deserves to be treated as a servant if his father forgives him. This is not the forgiveness that we are offered. The father in this story celebrates with great joy that his son has returned. This forgiveness is abundant, life-giving, and reuniting. We are invited to come home.
Will you go?