Holy Family painted by Esteban Perez Murillo
13 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.”
14 And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt 15 and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make his face to shine upon us, Selah
2 that your way may be known on earth,
your saving power among all nations.
3 Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you!
4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,
for you judge the peoples with equity
and guide the nations upon earth. Selah
5 Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you!
6 The earth has yielded its increase;
God, our God, shall bless us.
7 God shall bless us;
let all the ends of the earth fear him!
1 Thessalonians 4
9 Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another, 10 for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia.
But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, 11 and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, 12 so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.
We have been thinking about Father God as a Father.
Joseph, the father of Jesus, was chosen with care. One of the children Joseph and Mary was named after his father - Joseph, The Gospel of Matthew tells us. This isn't necessarily something the Jewish community did - regularly - when you think of the list of Jesus' ancestry. We mention this a lot, but two mentions in the Gospels said their small community saw Jesus and his brothers and sister as completely blended. Joseph was quite a man like Abraham - to do - to act - upon what God would have him do.
God was offering his small son to the Nations. Jesus was kept safe by God and Joseph. Relying upon God caused endurance, character, hope and God's Plan to go forth. These were men who were content to do the best they could do with what was given to them.
No frills for King Joseph of David's line. Don't we all have people we truly admire. Who have brought blessings by doing what was needed. We are so hooked on the news, we have forgotten to be grateful to the grandparents and the parent - the friends who have given a path of reliability. I can think of three women I know who have no idea of the path that their wake creates strength for all those who know them. Unsung. Well, sometimes. Their Light will shine on in generations unborn for the Light of Jesus.
Goodness is rarely applauded. Where is our Appreciate Joseph Day? God was appreciating Joseph. I bet Joseph had enough wisdom to appreciate that. They had a family tradition to know the Word of God. God offers up repeats to teach us.
Kind King Joseph was walking in the same path as Visor Joseph. Visor Joseph had more than an inkling of God's plans. Joseph had annoyed his brothers with dreams. Joseph was left to hope for the years he languished in prison. Glory was coming. Joseph went on to be patient for God's rescue to rise to become one of the most influential men living in the world.
Uncrowned King Joseph, the father of Jesus, was patient and knew God's rescue was happening for the Son of God. No Frills Joseph had no expectation of Glory like the Visor of Egypt. Joseph was making family. And in this small task, Joseph was working with the three most living influential people on earth. Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Who are we? We are the people of God. God dwells within us. We work daily with the Holy Spirit. We really do have expectations of Glory.
When you think of Joseph, Visor of Egypt, we realize not even Joseph named children after himself. Yet God does. God remembers and knows and lives with Joseph.
Jesus knew people who were so in love with God they did aspire to live quietly, and to mind their own affairs, and to work with their hands on what God would give them to do.
A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God
God was making a Statement.
And Important Statement of God. God was, indeed, offering his small son to the Nations. Jesus was kept safe in another culture. Jesus could be claimed by being part of Egypt. God had influenced other nations before. Pharaoh Amenhotep IV had risked all to convert Egypt to the belief that God was One God. Other nations, even Rome, experienced assassinations. On a statue of Amenhotep III at Kom el Hetan - Amenhotep’s funeral statue has a base and on the base of the statue is "Joseph-el". Joseph of God. Referring to Joseph who predicted the huge famine, and became Visor to Pharaoh. Joseph Messenger of God.
Amenhopt III has a mortuary palace in Kom el Hetan where it was only discovered in 2009. The papyrus at the bases of the statues have provided interesting clues to Joseph. It was the next generation of Pharaoh's to become determined to have Egypt only worship One God. The site is on going and currently not open to the public.
The papyrus mentioning Joseph at the base of the Pharaoh statue is dates the Exodus about 1447-1446 B.C. which also connects when the words Joseph, Israel, Goshen, Yahweh appear in tax records and official Egyptian documents, census and tax records.
The point for today is - it was the next Pharaoh's generation who watched as the adults went about every day and then that generation fought for Egypt to be under One God. And this makes our lives not important just to our piers, but also to the next generations. The people of God create works of God that He will want to bring forth again.
My mother in-law is adored by her grandchildren and influenced by her love. My mother has recently found a new ministry -to call upon her friends in the hospitals. What we do with our lives - not only are people being touched and warmed by our lives - the next generation wants to see that we care more than we talk.
And our life is very observed by God. He remembered Joseph so much, Jesus has repeated what Joseph did for the Lord, even when he could have stopped sooner.
Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will take the people of Israel from the nations among which they have gone, and will gather them from all around, and bring them to their own land. 22 And I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. And one king shall be king over them all, and they shall be no longer two nations, and no longer divided into two kingdoms.
23 They shall not defile themselves anymore with their idols and their detestable things, or with any of their transgressions. But I will Save them from all the backslidings in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them;
and they shall be my people,
and I will be their God.
24 “My servant David shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd.
Father God, You are our Shepherd. Guide us and lead us down the unique path you have for all of us using our talents and abilities. You alone are God and let us be centered on You. In Jesus. Amen.
♔ Lord Jesus Saves †