“The Wednesday Word” Podcast & Devotional

We thought it would be a great idea to have a mid-week recap & refresh of Pastor David’s Sunday sermon. Let’s make sure that we are learning all we can from them!

Pastor David’s Wednesday devotional will be related to the Sunday sermon in some way. It could be an expansion on a theme, a different twist, or some kind of content related to Sunday’s sermon. Various staff members and parishioners will gather to discuss the devotional and how it relates to our lives and maybe give some practical application of the word.

You can listen to the audio version in your car, while doing housework, during your workout, or whenever is most convenient for you. We want you to be able to access it at any time that is the right time for you to have a few minutes to read and reflect on it.

Devotional Text

Pastor David’s devotional for 12/7/22

Joseph: Matthew 1:18-25

Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do 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 as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us.” When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus.

The story of Joseph is interesting.  We hear of Joseph in the Gospel of Matthew. Matthew gives us very few details about Joseph, leaving us with many questions.  How long were Joseph and Mary engaged?  How old was Joseph?  How did Joseph find out that Mary was pregnant?  How long did it take him to decide to divorce her quietly?  Had he told Mary?  How much time passed between his dream and his decision to not divorce Mary?  Was the decision a difficult one to make?  Did he talk to Mary about his change of mind, and what did he tell her?  There are so many questions!

Even so, the Gospel does tell us enough to know a little about Joseph.  Joseph was a man of faith.  Why else would God allow him to be involved in raising Jesus?  His faithfulness is evident in the story.  He was open to hearing messages from God (through an angel of the Lord), and he was willing to do as God asked, even though it was not his first choice of how to respond to Mary’s news.  Saying yes to what God asked of him meant he would have to accept the mystery of Mary’s pregnancy.  It also meant he would name the baby: “She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus.”  By naming the child, Joseph was taking responsibility for the child as his own.  To outsiders looking in, Joseph was Jesus’ father.  So, there was no need to try and explain what had happened.  And Joseph never does, at least not in the Bible.

Joseph never even speaks.  This is very different from Mary’s story, in which we hear her speak, and even sing.  But Joseph never speaks.  He is only spoken of.  Throughout the Bible, the narrator of his story speaks for him, and even then, it is very little that is said.  As important as Joseph is to the story of Jesus birth and early childhood, we hear nothing from him.  We simply see his actions, doing whatever was asked of him by God.  This reality makes Joseph the Patron Saint of those who serve God faithfully without any need for recognition.

Do you know people like Joseph, people who serve God quietly, with no need of recognition?  People who simply respond to God’s leading in their life, trying to be obedient to the leading of God?  Here, at Desert Spring, we have quite a few people like him.   These are the saints who work behind the scenes doing what is needed without drawing any attention to themselves, and without any desire to be noticed.  They just do ministry and let their actions speak for them.

While Joseph never spoke a word, his actions spoke loudly.  Joseph was a man of faith.  No wonder he was chosen to help raise the child he named Jesus—Emmanuel, God with us.

I end with a few questions to consider as you ponder this man, Joseph.

  1. How do you describe Joseph?
  2. There is much we do not know about Joseph’s story—how do you fill in the blanks? For you, how do you answer the unanswered questions to make sense of his story?
  3. An angel of the Lord spoke to Joseph in a dream. Has the Lord ever spoken to you in a dream?  Have there been times when you felt like God was speaking to you?  Can you describe a time?
  4. Joseph believed the voice he heard was a message from God. How do we know if the voice we hear is truly a message from God?
  5. Has there been a time in our life when, based upon the leading of God, you changed directions and ended up doing something you had not planned to do? Has God ever asked you to do something contrary to your desires?
  6. Joseph was the patron saint of those who serve God faithfully without any need of recognition. Do you know someone who serves faithfully with no need for recognition?  Without giving recognition to the person, tell us why you think of this person.

God bless you, and I will see you in church!

Pastor Dave

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“Joseph” Sermon by Rev. David Devereaux