I recently read a March 2009 piece by Russ Moore in Touchstone entitled “Abba, Joseph” that is one of the more moving pieces on Joseph and the significance of his husbanding of Mary and his fatherhood of Jesus I have encountered. Turns out that the article is offline, but it’s based on an accessible sermon called “Joseph of Nazareth Is a Single-Issue Evangelical.”
Some of you have seen this before, but whether you have or not, you should read this (again). Get the PDF of the sermon here.
Here’s a particularly affecting section from the text:
I once actually heard myself saying these words to my children, “Would you please leave me alone so I can finish this book on adoption!?” This message, though, is not just those who are parents, for Scripture speaks of a fatherhood within the church. If we are going to walk in the walk of faith imaged in this man, then we are going to need pastors who see themselves as fathers of a flock and do not simply leave when trouble comes. We are going to need older generations who are less concerned with protecting their own prerogatives and more concerned with pouring their lives into the children of the congregation. There must be evident in the people of God a demonstration of the same thing that Joseph is asked to do—to walk in the kind of faith that protects and provides, that nourishes and cherishes as does God.
Amen to this. Read the whole thing, and as we gear up for Christmas, prepare yourself to better understand Joseph–and, more than him, the God whom he imaged in his protection of the weak and defenseless.