Joseph, guardian of Jesus


March 19, is the day the church remembers Joseph.

Only in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke do we hear of Joseph.  However, he gets no lines to speak.  Nor does he get to sing a song.  Zechariah sings, Mary sings, the heavenly host praise God at Jesus birth and Simeon sings of the salvation he is holding in his arms. Joseph is an unsung hero.

A verse that might sum up his life is Matthew 1:24a, When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him.  I see Joseph as one of those behind the scenes doers that every congregation needs.  If a toilet won’t flush, the furnace needs looking at or a door is malfunctioning, we know who to call.  Joseph was one of those people.

Thus, he went ahead and married Mary despite her questionable pregnancy.  If he was dutiful to the Lord, he was also dutiful to the civil authorities.  In returning to Bethlehem at the behest of Caesar he satisfied the plans of both God and government.  He was present at the birth of Jesus for whom he would act as guardian.  He saw to Jesus circumcision at 8 days of age and the sacrifices ordained for the first male child born into a family.  Joseph protected his family by fleeing with them to Egypt until it was safe tom return.  The last we hear of Joseph is when he and Mary find 12-year-old Jesus in the temple after a three-day search.

Psalm 89:1 certainly applies to Joseph, Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways!

Almighty God, from the house of Your servant David You raised up Joseph to be the guardian of Your Incarnate Son and the husband of His mother, Mary.  Grant us grace to follow the example of this faithful workman in heeding Your counsel and obeying Your commands; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives, and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

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