Joseph was called, under challenging circumstances, to fill the role of Jesus’ father on earth. Described in Matthew’s Gospel as a righteous man, he was planning to dismiss Mary, who was with child before they lived together, but instead obeyed the message given to him by an angel of the Lord to take Mary as his wife. Joseph is honored in Christian tradition for the love he showed to the boy Jesus, who lived under his roof for at least twelve years. His tender affection and care for Mary has, likewise, been long celebrated in the church.
Joseph was a devout Jew, descended from the line of David. A carpenter by trade, he was a man of very modest means, with no education outside the synagogue. It is generally believed that he died quietly and naturally, prior to our Lord’s active ministry. The gospel writers tell us that Jesus was widely known as the “son of Joseph the carpenter,” and Joseph’s influence on him was, of course, inestimable. Though Joseph might not have grasped the importance of his humble life, it stands as a grace-filled model of serving God through simple everyday activities, as a devoted husband and father.
Collect of the day:
O God, who from the family of your servant David raised up Joseph to be the guardian of your incarnate Son and the spouse of his virgin mother: Give us grace to imitate his uprightness of life and his obedience to your commands; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
After a very long and frustrating week, especially this day, I find great comfort in this production by Word Live (Psalm 42 and 43) I hope it brings you comfort as well.
Moses a Servant, Christ a Son
3 Therefore, brothers and sisters,holy partners in a heavenly calling, consider that Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession, 2 was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses also “was faithful in all” God’s house.” 3 Yet Jesus is worthy of more glory than Moses, just as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself. 4 (For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.) 5 Now Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, to testify to the things that would be spoken later. 6 Christ, however, was faithful over God’s house as a son, and we are his house if we hold firm the confidence and the pride that belong to hope.
Warning against Unbelief
7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says,
“Today, if you hear his voice,
8 do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,
as on the day of testing in the wilderness,
9 where your ancestors put me to the test,
though they had seen my works 10 for forty years.
Therefore I was angry with that generation,
and I said, ‘They always go astray in their hearts,
and they have not known my ways.’
11 As in my anger I swore,
‘They will not enter my rest.’”
Questions of reflection:
- How is Jesus our apostle and high priest?
- Why compare Moses to Christ?
- What do Moses, Jesus and believers have to do with God’s house?
- The rebellion … the time of testing in the wilderness?
- What is God’s rest?
11 For the one who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one Father. For this reason Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters,12 saying,
“I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters,
in the midst of the congregation I will praise you.”
13 And again,
“I will put my trust in him.”
“Here am I and the children whom God has given me.”
14 Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death. 16 For it is clear that he did not come to help angels, but the descendants of Abraham. 17 Therefore he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every respect, so that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people. 18 Because he himself was tested by what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.
Questions to think about and reflect on this day in Lent:
- For the one who Sanctifies and those who are?
- Trust, are you fully trusting, without fear in the way of God?
- Why did Jesus have to become like us?
- How could Jesus who had a divine nature be tempted?