Psalm 89, Matthew 1:6–25, Matthew 2:19–23, Luke 2:41–52
David: the man (somehow) after God’s own heart. Imagine passing that down as your legacy. Even more, how about others passing it down for you. We “love” famous people. We “love” famous stories. Fame is fabulous. When we pass on family stories, which (we hope) are full of the legacy of our faith, we have this desire for immortality. It is this seed in us that seeks to break past the barriers of this life. Even those whose full trust is in Jesus Christ have a bit of this in them. Children are one part of our legacy (whether biological or adopted or nurtured). Our story is another. However, are you willing to die to yourself?
Today is the traditional day set aside for Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus. Yes, that Jesus. That person who lived a life of mercy and grace, who died on a cross to bridge the divide between man and God, and rose again to show that there is life after this one for those who trust in him. Joseph is the father of that Jesus. The church talks about Joseph briefly during Advent and Christmas. The churches in America might talk about Joseph on Father’s Day. Maybe. That’s about it. Joseph pretty much is a side character to us. Which makes sense, to a point. The Bible is God’s story for and to us. With Jesus being the Messiah and God, it makes sense that Joseph doesn’t quite get the limelight. Rightfully, Mary gets a whole lot of focus (some do take that overboard). Despite the message of our society, it really does take two.
Sadly, we really don’t know much about Joseph. Some church traditions (not all) teach that Joseph was an older man who died early in Jesus’ life. That is not a rock solid fact. There are plenty of reasons why even a young man, barely older than Mary, would die before Jesus started his ministry. Does it matter when Joseph died? Not really. We can be pretty sure that he died before Jesus’ ministry began, but that’s it. So, why talk about Joseph, other than just it being “his” day on the church calendar?
Joseph’s legacy is the Savior of the World. Every time we say Jesus’ name in praise, thanks, and worship, we are also declaring Joseph’s legacy. We don’t think of Joseph that way, but Joseph’s legacy is eternal, even now here on Earth. In fact, we think very little of the quiet legacies. If you have the chance, read Buck Jacobs’ short story, “The Janitor and the CEO.” Basically, the CEO was all sorts of flashy, and the janitor wasn’t. The janitor, however, had a welcoming committee in Heaven. So, perhaps instead of having a Paul kind of legacy (or Peter, Timothy, Jude, John, Mark, Luke), you could have a Joseph kind of legacy.
1) Think of the legacy you are passing on. Is it all about you? Is it about God? Really, what is it about?
2) We often compare ourselves to others. Do you find yourself comparing your legacy to those of others?
3) Often we look at the legacy we passed on to others, but neglect those who are now in our circle. Are there people in your relational circle that you haven’t been looking at as bearers of your legacy?
FD) Have you ever wanted to be, or still want to be, famous? Why?