When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus. (Matthew 1:24-25 ESV)
Few people know, but my real dad died from injuries, the result of an airplane crash 2 ½ months before I was born. I never knew my biological dad except through pictures and stories that people told me. However, he did name me. I had two brothers and my biological dad really wanted a girl. He somehow knew I was going to be a girl, so he named me Vicki Sue. My mom soon after met a man who had three daughters of his own (okay the Brady Bunch theme is running through my head), anyway he had been divorced and was lonely. He met my mom and by the time I was 10 months old they were married. Dad said he instantly fell in love with me when I grabbed his finger and called him daddy. My stepdad (dad) loved me as if I were his very own daughter. He spoiled me with love. He gave me an incredible gift—because my earthly daddy loved me so well, when I met God it was so easy to see Him as a loving Father too. I still think I’m my Heavenly Father’s favorite but so is every other little girl. So, my earthly father played a huge part in my trusting in a Heavenly Father.
There is another dad who is wonderful too. His name was Joseph (it’s ironic because my dad’s name is Joseph too). Anyway, he was Jesus’ stepfather. Jesus earthly stepdad was a kind and loving man. Joseph had every right to have Mary taken before the city elders and have her stoned to death for being pregnant out of wedlock. However, he thought it through and being a godly man, he chose to just divorce her quietly. But God…sent an angel who told Joseph not to fear. I wonder if my dad was fearful of taking a family of three more kids on. Joseph took Mary as his wife, didn’t touch her until after Jesus was born, he honored her, loved her and raised Jesus the best he knew how. He taught Jesus a lot, I have no doubt but there are no written records. I can only imagine. Joseph taught Jesus to be a carpenter among other things and I bet they had great talks about God. If only someone had recorded those moments on video tape for posterity. It would have been priceless!
Not much is said about Joseph. We know he was faithful to God’s directions. Mary tends to be the one that receives the so-called glory, but Joseph stood beside his woman. He delivered the baby. He kept them safe and provided for them. I think Joseph deserves a Father of the Year award as does my own father.
My dad is still alive and doing very well at 94 years old. He was in the Navy during World War II and he continues to take care of my frail mom in their own home. He mows the grass, hauls wood and fixes whatever needs repaired. I will never be able to thank God enough for giving me the incredible dad that I have. I wonder if Jesus had words that expressed to his earthly dad the gratitude that He had for Joseph being the father that he was. Something to think about!
Therefore, I guess I want to honor both Joe’s. They took a chance and loved us and raised us and gave us great examples of what our Heavenly Father is like. Thank you, dad! So, this Christmas as we remember the gift of Jesus as a baby. Remember, He is no longer a baby. He grew to be a man, our Savior, that loved us so much that He gave the greatest gift ever, His life for ours.
First Baptist Church