Day 1 : WHY JOSEPH? Matt. 1:18-2:23
It is so good to hear a story over and over again - especially this story. But one of the risks we need to fight against is that familiarity can cause us to miss things that might be important or helpful. We see what we’ve always seen, hear what we’ve always heard. So let’s slow down and try to see and hear what we may be missing. Let’s start with a question.
Why is Joseph in this story?
I have never thought about asking that question before but, why is he in here?
We are so familiar with the story that, of course, we would certainly miss him if he were gone. How would Mary get to Bethlehem and back? Who would help her with the birth in the barn? Who would earn the money to support this family? So yeah, we’ve got to have Joseph. But in most tellings of the story, he is at best a bit player, there to fill in some of the empty pieces.
But I have to believe there is more to it than that. And I still keep wondering why I am so drawn to this man.
He shows up after his engagement to Mary - seemingly out of the blue. We know a few things about him from context clues. He was likely a blue-collar worker (carpenter or even stonemason), he was a man of faith, he was of marrying age, he was a man of good character.
Can we pause to imagine a little what his life has been like up to this point? I think it is worth the time and energy to use some “holy imagination” to fill in some of what we aren’t explicitly told. I think there is so much more to this man than we have ever noticed. I also wonder if many of us don’t have more in common with and will identify more with Joseph than we do with Mary or the shepherds. I think it’s worth a look.
Morning Pause: As you begin the day, imagine Joseph’s childhood, the influences and experiences that have brought him to this sudden appearance. Do any of those look like your childhood? Is there anything that you can relate to? Ask God for insight into both.
Afternoon Pause: Why do you think there is so little written about Joseph in scripture? Is it because he is relatively unimportant? Could it be to cause us to wonder and imagine and enter more?
Evening Pause: What might some of his hopes and dreams for his life be at this point? How do those relate to and connect with your hopes and dreams for your life? What are some things in your life that you can identify that prepared you to carry Jesus? Thank God for those things.