In 1637, mathematician, Pierre de Fermat, scribbled in the margin of a book what would become, for many centuries, an unsolvable problem. He conjectured that there were no integers a, b, and c for which a^n + b^n = c^n was true where n is greater than 2. Fermat claimed to have a proof that was too large for the margin of the book, but no proof was ever found and for three and a half centuries his simple conjecture remained unproven, despite generations of mathematicians who worked to solve it. Finally in 1994, Andrew Wiles offered a proof which not only solved the unsolvable problem, but produced significant advancement the study of number theory.
Many of us have problems in our lives that seem unsolvable. Perhaps your problems are intellectual or financial, but most often the greatest unsolvable problems in our lives are relational. We try everything we can think of to solve them, but never seem to get quite to the heart of the problem which is our own sinfulness. Brokenness in our relationship with God brings brokenness to every other relationship in one way or another.
Joseph, the adoptive father of Jesus, had a serious relational problem. Before his wedding night, his fiancée Mary is found to be pregnant. Joseph wrestles to reconcile two irreconcilable ideas: justice and mercy. Joseph’s internal struggle to find a middle way, reflected his best, honorable attempts to exercise self-control in jealousy, rage, vindication, and righteousness and yet balance that with love for Mary and a desire to protect her. How can justice and mercy be reconciled? In human understanding they seem mutually exclusive. But in God’s economy they are not. An angel comes to Joseph in a dream to reveal to him that what looks like his relational problem is actually the solution to humanity’s unsolvable problem, the problem of sin, justice and mercy.
Join us this Lord’s Day, December 3, as we examine Joseph’s quandary from Matthew 1:18-21 and consider the solution it reveals to our seemingly unsolvable problem. We meet from 5:00 – 6:30 pm in The Commons at St. Andrews Anglican Church at 8300 Kanis Rd in Little Rock. Click here for directions. Come with a friend you and join us for fellowship and conversation. We look forward to seeing you there.