God plans every detail of our lives. He offers us the opportunity to join Him in His work. Because He is infinite, He can prepare good works for every one of us to do for His glory (Ephesians 2:10). God had big plans for Joseph’s life. No one would have suspected that Joseph, the gentle carpenter, would become the step-father to God.
Fathers always play a back stage role when their wives are having a child. Josephwas no exception. What we know of Joseph from Scripture is very limited. We doknow that he was a loving follower of God. We know that God gave him a specialresponsibility while he lived on this earth and, from all indications, it seemsthat he fulfilled his role very well. Even when Joseph first heard that Marywas pregnant, he didn’t respond in wounded jealousy. He knew that he shouldn’tmarry a woman who had been unfaithful to him, but he didn’t want to publiclydisgrace her. He was not a hothead either. He could have reacted right away;we know he at least took one night to sleep on it because the Scripture tellsus that God spoke to him in a dream (Matthew 1:18-25).
God’s message to Joseph was changed his view of his options. The angeltold him that he should take Mary as his wife because she was pregnant by theHoly Spirit. Joseph did everything the angel told him to do. He married Marry,kept her a virgin until after Jesus was born and named the baby Jesus. He wentbeyond that to providing for his Son, teaching Him the craft of carpentry, andproviding religious training. The last time we know of Joseph was when Jesuswas 12 and was left in Jerusalem. Joseph was by Mary’s side as they searchedthe city for their budding teenage son. When they found Jesus, it was Mary whospoke. Joseph was ever quiet and in the background. We think that Joseph probablydied before Jesus’ public ministry. We know he was not living when Jesushung on the cross because one of His seven sayings from the cross was takingcare of his mother and putting her into the care of John the Apostle.
As we enter the Christmas season this year and reflect on Joseph, he is a greatexample of how to live your life as a pleasing sacrifice to God (Romans 12:1-2).Joseph didn’t have to be in the spotlight to serve God. He was willingto be in the background. It’s important to remember that service in thebackground does not go unnoticed by God. He designed us that way. Joseph didn’targue with God about why his life was turning out the way it was, rather he embracedGod’s purpose for his life.
Most of us are like Joseph, the good works that God has prepared for us to dowon’t get much attention from the world. Maybe God created you to sharethe gospel with your neighbor. Perhaps there is something about your personalityor your story that will reach a person as no one else was able. Maybe God’sgood works for you are to volunteer at a homeless shelter, perhaps in the backroom sorting the clothes, the job everyone hates to do. Good works come in allsizes, big and small. Each good work is as important to God as the other. Whynot take a lesson from Joseph and live your life accepting the good works Godgives you to do. I’m sure it will help you have a Merry Christmas.