A Message from the Pastor’s Desk
HAPPY FATHER’S DAY
Fathers litter the Bible, in both the Old Testament and New, and are so prolific that sometimes we forget to focus on them, even on the one day a year when we should. One famous father that comes to mind is the father of the Prodigal Son, who welcomes his son back with open arms after he has gone and wasted his inheritance. Another father (and, surely, He should have been first) is our Heavenly Father, God Himself.
However, there is one father I would like to focus on today, and that is Joseph, the husband of Mary and father of Jesus Christ.
Now, Joseph often gets overlooked because Jesus’s true father is God the Father in Heaven. Joseph is often looked on as “the stepfather.” And I suppose in many ways, he is. Joseph, though, is the man who raised Jesus. He’s the one who brought up Jesus in Galilean culture and taught him how to be a man in his own right.
Now, we don’t know much about Jesus and Joseph’s relationship—at least at first glance.
We do know that when Joseph first learnt that Mary was pregnant, Joseph planned to cancel their betrothal quietly until he was visited by an angel of the Lord (Matthew 1:20-25). From there we see him briefly when Jesus is lost as a twelve-year-old (Luke 2:41-52), not knowing where Jesus is, and then we know that Joseph is dead by the time Jesus starts his ministry (Luke 3:23) as he fails to appear at all later in the Gospels.
So, how can we know anything about Joseph?
Well, we know that Joseph gave Jesus his name by marrying Mary. He gave him a place in society and protection under the law.
We know that Joseph would have given Jesus a trade—carpentry—and would have taught him this trade as he grew up.
We know that Joseph taught Jesus to be loving and kind and thoughtful and religious, all which are undeniable traits of Jesus’s character.
We know that Jesus never harbored any resentment against Joseph, showing that Joseph accepted Jesus fully as his son and loved him as if he were his own.
When we stack it all up, we can glean quite a bit about Joseph and his relationship with his son, Jesus.
Joseph is undeniably a father whose praises are rarely sung in the Bible. A descendant of King David, he was a man who accepted his duty when God called upon him and was trusted with the great responsibility and honor of raising of Jesus. Although he is mostly considered a sidenote, let’s not forget him this Father’s Day as the example of good fatherhood that he undoubtedly is.
Happy Father’s Day to all the Men we Love and Care For!
Rev. Averill Elizabeth Blackburn