Day 18. December 18, 2019
Nativity Companion: Joseph
God, thank you for calling and naming us your own. Might we find ourselves to be your children and trust ourselves to your loving care. AMEN.
Luke 1:72-75 (NRSV).
72 Thus he has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors, and has remembered his holy covenant, 73 the oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham, to grant us 74 that we, being rescued from the hands of our enemies, might serve him without fear, 75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
Reflection from Mary Fisher
In the Christmas story, I’ve always resonated with Mary. After all, I bear her name. This year however, my Advent Companion is Joseph. What could I have in common with the man who was Jesus’ earthly father?
And then it hit me… Joseph was a stepparent – just like me.
Joseph loved and cared for Jesus like a father should – like Jesus was his own. He protected Jesus by fleeing to Egypt when Herod sought to kill his son. He and Mary made a home for their family. He taught Jesus about his faith, taking him to the temple in Jerusalem at age 12. He taught his son the tricks of a carpenter’s trade. Maybe most importantly, he believed Mary’s fantastic story about an angel’s message and an immaculate conception, with the help of a dreamy angelic visitation. What a guy!
I’ve tried to do the same with my two stepdaughters. My husband Jim and I made a home for them when they were kids and open it now for their young families. I created as safe a space for them as I could. I taught them about the world. And, mostly by example, I showed them a life of faith. It’s the joy of my life.
I’m grateful for Joseph’s example of what a stepparent can be.
Questions for Consideration.
God, rich in love, thank you for how you mediate your love to us through others. Might we be a people of welcome who invite in others who are not a part of our family or community and, in so doing, might we fulfill the gospel and live your love. AMEN.