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A Devotional on Joseph with Father A. Cameron Robinson

Good morning, you’ll. My name is Rev. Cameron Robinson. I am the Planting Pastor of Emmanuel Anglican Church, here in Spartanburg, SC.

Today, we get to talk about a man who really isn’t talked about often. That is the father of Jesus Christ, Joseph. 

We see in the Gospel of Matthew that Joseph is visited by an angel. Scripture tells us, Joseph being a just man upon finding out that his soon-to-be wife Mary is pregnant decides to put her away quietly. To break off their engagement, but to do it in a just and honest way when he’s visited by an angel who cements his place in the narrative story of Jesus. 

As we enter in the Anglican tradition this season called Advent, there is this longing and this waiting that we’re constantly experiencing. While we’re awaiting light in the midst of darkness, we don’t get a lot of clarity around what it must have been like for Joseph to await that light in the darkness. 

For he understands the prophecy. He understands the words the angel has told him, but he still is this guy who’s wife is pregnant in this way that you can’t really say out loud or explain to another.

He is almost the ultimate sign of waiting. 

Joseph is a man who ends up existing in the background and for most of us that’s a hard spot to be in. Through Jesus’ life, Joseph sits in the background. We don’t get much narrative as to what he does or how he does it. We know that he trains as a carpenter. Jesus ends up taking upon that skill of His father as well. We don’t get much narrative about Joseph and that’s beautiful in itself. 

Joseph exists as the Father of the saviour of the world for 30 years training this man, this boy to become a man, without really any shine or any light. What better definition of manhood then to do the job you’ve been called to do without the pomp and circumstance reminded that if you fail at that job, the mission fails.

There is something significant about Joseph’s sacrifice of anonymity. There’s something significant about his existence within the story of Jesus that I feel should always be the Father’s Day sermon that we rarely talk about. 

Even within church history, Mary gets such a renown spot, but where is Joseph’s place; and I honestly don’t know that Joseph cares.

Now granted we don’t know how Joseph felt, or how Joseph would feel looking back. There is a significance to the silence of the narrative. There’s a significance to him kind of being written off.

We know even at the foot of the cross, Joseph isn’t there but scripture says, Behold this is your mother, and behold this is your son in terms of dependence. 

We don’t know Joseph’s narrative per say: where he is or how he’s existing. However, we do know the work Joseph was called to do was not to divorce Mary and build a family with Mary. He accomplishes that goal.

What greater gift to Christ can we offer than to do what we’ve been called to do in a way that’s faithful to what God has called us to and in a way that is alright without receiving any of the accolades.

That preaches to me and I hope it preaches to you as well. There is this anonymity to the work of Joseph that ends up being ridiculously important to the significance of and accomplishment of God’s mission through Jesus Christ.

Thanks be to God for people who do the work without the pomp and circumstance yet without their work the mission would not be accomplished. 

Salvation would have happened I’m sure through God’s power, but it may not have happened in the way God intended had Joseph not been who God created him to be. Maybe, that’s the advice we should impart from this story: that we all stay in our lanes and be who God has called us to be. Thanks be to God. Amen.

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