Reflections: St. Joseph, Guardian of Jesus

Today’s Reading: Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23

Daily Lectionary: Genesis 27:1-29; Mark 8:22-38

 

Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy him.” (Matthew 2:13)

 

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The last time an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph, he was told not to be afraid. He was to take Mary as his wife. The child in her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. His Name is Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins, the angel told him. All was going according to God’s plan of salvation. 

Now, an angel of the Lord appears to Joseph again. This time Joseph is warned in a dream to take the Christ Child and Mary, flee to Egypt, and escape Herod’s treacherous, murderous plot to kill Jesus, the one born King of the Jews. And just as he did before, Joseph listened to the angel’s word. 

We don’t often pay attention to Joseph. This, on the one hand, is good. Joseph isn’t the center of the story, Jesus is. On the other hand, it is good to remember and give thanks to God for Joseph, guardian of Jesus. For God gave Joseph an important part to play in the story of our salvation.

It’s quite the title, if you think about it: Guardian of Jesus. Wait, what? God Incarnate needs a guardian? Yes, He did. That’s the joy and mystery of Christmas, but also of Lent and Easter. You see, God sent Joseph to be Mary’s husband, and Jesus’ guardian, so that when the time came to flee Egypt, he would be there to safeguard the Son of God and His mother. God sent Joseph to be Jesus’ guardian so that in fleeing Herod’s wrath, Jesus would one day grow up and go to the Cross to bear God’s wrath for us. God sent Joseph to be Jesus’ guardian so that Jesus would go to Jerusalem to be crucified under Pontius Pilate for you. God sent Joseph to be Jesus’ guardian so that Jesus, the rightful King, would rule and reign from His crib to the Cross, and into all eternity, for you. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

 

Almighty God, from the house of Your servant David You raised up Joseph to be the guardian of Your incarnate Son and the husband of His mother, Mary. Grant us grace to follow the example of this faithful workman in heeding Your counsel and obeying Your commands; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

-Rev. Samuel Schuldheisz is pastor of Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church in Milton, WA.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch

Learn more about your favorite hymns and find the deeper meaning behind the text with Eternal Anthems: The Story Behind Your Favorite Hymns. The book includes devotional commentary and historical facts from forty different contributing authors on fifty different hymns. Now available from Concordia Publishing House.