Father is a verb
by Holy Host
HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!
Today is Father’s Day, I thought it appropriate to talk about my foster father, Joseph. You probably think of him as a carpenter, but have you ever thought of him as an “action hero”?
I know what your thinking…when you hear action hero your mind sees images of movies like the Avengers with muscle bound, quick thinking heroes…but what I want you to think about it the word that comes before hero…the word action.
There are well over 700,000 words in the Bible but the Word of God is filled with more than just words, it is filled with actions. The actions of men and women just like you. It is filled with ordinary people, doing extraordinary things, because of their faith. My earthly father Joseph was one of those people.
You may not ever hear someone quoting Joseph, or quoting a conversation I had with Joseph because in the Bible the things that were important to note about Joseph were things that he did not things that he said.
The Bible doesn’t talk a whole lot about my earthly father but in the few times it does mention him you can see what an amazingly faithful man he was.
The last time you hear about Joseph is when I am 12 years old in the temple in the book of Luke. And most theologians believe Joseph died some time before I started my ministry at the age of 30.
But don’t be confused; the lack of details about Joseph’s death doesn’t imply Joseph was unimportant. On the contrary, this was to shine a light on the tremendous actions of faith this man produced under often frightening or humiliating circumstances.
It may, sadly, be common place these days for woman to have children out of wedlock or for men to wander off while married and have children with another woman but 2000 years ago, this was more than just scandalous.
When my mother Mary was found to be with child she was already betrothed to Joseph…this is considered married and Joseph could have divorced her and sent her away disgraced.
18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
Even in a confusing and humiliating situation…if God said it, Joseph did it!
Later in Matthew Joseph is visited by an angel of God again telling him he needed to flee to protect me, and my mother.
13 … an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”
14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt,
Again, during a stressful situation – God said it, Joseph did it!
Are you seeing a pattern yet? A few verses later it says Joseph was visited yet again by an angel of the Lord.
19 After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt 20 and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.”
21 So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel.
These passages not only point out important attributes of Joseph as a man of faith they also are instruction for other fathers of how to act in times of trouble.
Every time the people my foster father Joseph loved were in harms way…he “got up” and in faith, dealt with it.
This goes to show that the word father should be thought of more as a verb, not as a noun.
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