United Church of Christ

Resolving to Do Better

When 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. - Matthew 1:18-19 (NRSV)

Being a parent gives us so many chances to mess up.

Joseph thought he was doing the right thing. He had resolved to walk away from his fiancée to protect himself. He was selfish and petty, and he made a mistake.

I like people in the Bible like Joseph, because they help me remember that none of us is perfect. We all mess up, and we all get another chance.

Joseph resolved to walk away from an uncomfortable situation. Fortunately, he realized his mistake and made up his mind to do the right thing, to return to Mary, to take her as his wife, and to raise Jesus to become the amazing man that he did.

Being a parent gives us so many chances to mess up.

We get another chance because we are loved: by God, by others who support us. We get another chance because all of God’s children are worthy of respect and acceptance. We get another chance because deep down inside we were created by God to be fundamentally good and beautiful. We get another chance because we are needed to help heal the world.

Prayer
Holy Parent God, Help me resolve to accept all the second chances you give me. Amen.

About the Author
Tom O’Brien contributed this devotional (edited for length) to Hard and Holy: Devotions for Parenting, a collection of spiritual encouragement and practical solidarity and messy joy. Order Hard and Holy here.

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