For many of us, this time of year our thoughts are drawn toward the most special event that has ever occurred in the history of our world.
- The scene…Bethlehem, the event…the birth of our Savior.
- The One who was born in a humble stable and was the long anticipated Emmanuel.
- What a name for those back then, and for each one of us today “GOD WITH US”
Songs, programs, plays, family celebrations have long focused on the familiar participants who appeared on the scene of this beloved, much repeated story.
- We hear so frequently about His mother Mary.
- The angles who announced the Baby’s birth.
- The shepherds who hurriedly went to see the newborn Child.
- And, later the Wise Men who came to honor this God/Man with precious gifts.
History and people honor the Mother of this Christ Child.
- They speak of her youth, her purity, her dedication to God.
- But, what of Joseph of Nazareth?
- We must remember, he was chosen also for God’s purpose.
- What kind of man was he?
- What did he think?
- More importantly: what did he feel, how strong was his faith, his trust?
I’ve often wonder about him as he watched these momentous events take place in and around his life.
- I believe he would be a man of great faith with a kind heart.
- A man full of love and tenderness.
- He would be courageous, dedicated and protective of those he loved.
- He wasn’t self absorbed or full of pride.
- He would be a man of principle, but also a man of strength and action.
- He would be a man who accepted things he didn’t understand.
- He was a man of integrity.
- All of these things and many others describe Joseph.
Jesus came into this world pure and sinless.
- He lived a sinless life and went to the cross for you and me.
- According to Scripture Joseph was never mentioned after Jesus reached the age of twelve.
- It is thought that Joseph died long before Christ began His earthly ministry.
Our Savior was pure in every way.
- I believe His adopted father Joseph lived a life before Him that was full of character.
- He demonstrated the best of humanity.
- Joseph taught Him the value of hard work with the scared hands of a carpenter.
- But, also showed Him by example the value of a tender heart.
- Joseph was both a teacher for, and a student of this baby, child, young man; that through a miracle of God entered his life.
Many times on this road of life as Joseph was; we are called upon through faith to accept situations we do not understand.
- To go forward and be the best we can be.
- Sometimes in the face of mockery and the rejection of others.
- You and I have a responsibility to listen, accept, to focus ahead and teach others as Joseph did.
- An angel from heaven does not come to comfort or lead us.
- Today, we have the Word of God in our hands to accompany us through whatever path we are destined to follow.
From the beginning of time, God had a perfect plan which was fulfilled in Bethlehem and Jerusalem.
- The Babe in the manager that we and others celebrate this season; was brought into this world in a cattle barn by the worn, rough hands of Joseph.
- Thirty-three years later this baby who grew to be a man, who fulfilled all Scripture; was taken off the cross after His death by the hands of another Joseph.
“I believe the Glory of Heaven is lying in my hands tonight” **
** Joseph’s Lullaby from the Album The Christmas Sessions
recorded by Mercy Me