Archive for December 6th, 2021

Reflection on Joseph


Written by Ricky Chelette, a contemporary pastor, teacher, author, and executive director of Living Hope Ministries.

Not much is written about his life. Most scholars treat him as a minor character in the most amazing drama in history – the birth of Jesus. Church pageants portray him as a dutiful helper to Mary, with few if any lines, but not much more. He was a good man, and he had a heart that was sensitive to the things of God. We know him as Joseph, the earthly father of the Son of God. Ponder the significance of that eight-word description. Let it linger for a moment. Can you imagine the weight of such an assignment? Most fathers feel ill-equipped to raise a child, but to raise the Son of God was a task no one could have even anticipated! However, Joseph was up for the task. Like many men in a new experience, Joseph rose to the occasion. His response, fortified by his faith in God, gives insight and direction for us all.

Joseph was a just and kind man who honored women. Joseph had every right to put Mary away, to disgrace her publicly, and even to have her stoned. After all, Mary’s guilt was ostensibly apparent given that no one had ever become pregnant without a sexual relationship. Yet, Joseph’s concern for Mary and her future showed his heart of compassion and love. Joseph also believed and obeyed God. Despite what was seemingly impossible, Joseph trusted the words of the angel of the Lord and, by faith, obeyed… Joseph was a faithful father who loved his son. A rhythm of faith permeated the life of Joseph and his family. Notice that “every year” and “according to custom,” Joseph consistently led his family to spiritually engage with God. His willingness to leave his business, travel to another city, and participate in the Feast of Passover further attests to the priority Joseph placed on the spiritual growth of his family.

As the pageants are delivered and the applause is given this Christmas season, few will notice the steady and faithful father Joseph, but Jesus did. Jesus was shaped in his earthly manhood by his earthly father just as we are. He learned a skill and a craft from hours at the feet of Joseph. He saw faith and sacrifice lived out through a simple, faithful builder, who loved God and loved Him. Not everyone lives in the spotlight or has the starring role in the drama, but we each play a significant role in God’s cosmic saga of redemption, just like Joseph. Today you may feel unnoticed, unseen, or even forgotten, yet God knows and sees you. There are no bit parts in His story.  Your life matters and others are observing you to see if you reflect the faith, you say you believe, and the God whose name you claim.  Live carefully and faithfully. You might be an unsung hero!

SCRIPTURE: Matthew 1:18-25

MUSIC VIDEO: Joseph’s Lullaby

Performed by Mercy Me

From the Arant Family Nativity Collection

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