Written by Brian Johnson

Today in worship, we are going to hear about Joseph.

Joseph, a righteous man, who tried to do right by Mary, even when he thought she had betrayed his trust.  Joseph, Jesus’ father, who was troubled by Mary’s unexpected (and unexplained) pregnancy, until an angel explained it to him and told him it was a gift from God.  Joseph, who doesn’t say a word in Scripture, but who instead lets his actions speak for him.  And those actions speak loudly – he is unrelentingly faithful, going where God leads, even when it turns his life upside-down and puts him in mortal danger.

Joseph is also an interesting character because he looks a lot like another biblical Joseph – the one who we meet in the first book of the Old Testament (Genesis).  Matthew, in writing his story of the life of Jesus, was clearly trying to connect the story of Jesus to the story of God’s people in the Old Testament.  And, so, Matthew highlights some really interesting parallels between Jesus’ father and that other famous Joseph.

Both Josephs hear from God in dreams.  Both of them face long odds of survival.  Both of them are driven out of their homeland and end up in a foreign land (Egypt), depending on God’s protection for their very survival.  Both of them, despite their low status, end up protecting a gift that will save their people.  In Genesis, God saves the people of Israel (and the whole world) by speaking through a dream.  Joseph interprets that dream and receives God’s message about an upcoming famine.  Because of God’s message, Joseph is able to save the people from starvation.

In the Gospel of Matthew, God uses Joseph (descendant of David) to help save the world by protecting Jesus, the promised savior.  God speaks to Joseph in dreams, telling him to stay with Mary, and then telling him to flee to Egypt until the danger has passed, and finally telling him to return and make his home in Nazareth.

Each Joseph was faithful.  Each Joseph trusted in God.  Each Joseph was God’s servant, a tool through whom God worked to save the world.

May we listen for God like these Josephs did.  May we trust in God as these Josephs did.  May we follow where God leads, as these Josephs did (even when it gets risky!).  And may God use us, as God used these Josephs, to do God’s work and care for God’s people.

If you miss any of our daily readings, you can find them archived here. (Readings will be added each day.) We hope these readings will help you encounter God this season!