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A Wesleyan-Anglican Church in Boise, Idaho

Joseph's Place in Advent

Joseph's Place in Advent

December 10, 2018

(Photo: Bryan Vanshur)
It can be easy, during Advent, to focus our attention primarily on the Virgin Mary and on Jesus.  While this is good and necessary, let us not overlook Joseph, and the incredibly important role this wonderful man played in the story of our salvation.  The virtues he displayed can guide and inspire us in this holy season.  They include:
  1.  Silence -- Not once in the Bible do we hear a word from this man.  Joseph's silence is profoundly eloquent.  It teaches us a fundamental attitude needed to enter into deep prayer:  silence.  When we are constantly bombarded by noise, it becomes difficult to hear the Word of God that gently speaks to us in the gentle breeze of silence.  Joseph's silence has much to teach us.  Like him, we must prove our authenticity by words, but also by our actions.  St. Joseph led by example.
  2. Prayer -- Joseph was a man of prayer.  It is easy to forget the important role he played in the life of Jesus and of Mary.  Consider this:  Joseph was actually the one who would have played a major role in teaching Jesus how to pray.  Joseph taught Jesus to address God as "Abba" -- meaning "daddy."  
  3. Courage -- In a culture where far too many men shirk their responsibilities toward their wives, children, and family, Joseph stands as a model of courage and fortitude.  He traveled many miles in the wind and bitter cold, only to meet rejection.  He found refuge in an animal shelter for the birth of Jesus.  He arose early to flee into Egypt, saving the child Jesus from the murderous threats of King Herod.  Faced with many obstacles, Joseph met them with courage.  Would to God that men of our day would lift up our gaze to this gentle and courageous man.
  4. Provision and Protection -- Joseph both protected and provided for the holy family.  He was a hard worker, conducting his trade as a carpenter.  He thought not of himself, but how he could best provide for and protect the family  God had entrusted to him.  Joseph's example in this regard stands in contrast to the materialism, consumerism, and hedonism of our age.  I cannot prove it, but I get the sense that Joseph understood that holding the child Jesus in his arms was worth more than all of the money and possessions this world can offer.  
Finally, consider this:  No one knew Jesus and Mary more intimately than Joseph.  His example can help us to seek to know more intimately both Jesus and the woman who gave him birth, the Theotokos, or "God-bearer."  The holy family is only complete when all three of its members are fully recognized, honored, and loved.  

(Photo: Bryan Vanshur)
Pastor Thelander
(Adapted from Ed Broom, OMV)

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Luke 1:78-79

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Aug 4: Ecclesiastes 1:12-14, 2:18-23, Psalm 49:1-11, Colossians 3:5-17, Luke 12:13-21

Jul 28: Genesis 18:20-33, Psalm 138, Colossians 2:6-15, Luke 11:1-13

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