“Joseph Dearest, Joseph Mine”
The Faith We Sing – #2099
Gladly, dear one, lady mine, help I cradle this child of thine;
God’s own light on us both shall shine . . .
So what’s the deal with Joseph? We know he was there, so the story tells us. We even read that he was visited by an angel who explained the surprising (to say the least) pregnancy of Mary, imploring him not to leave, but rather to stay, serving as the earthly father of the Son of God. In this snippet of lyric, Joseph offers his parenting help to Mary, understanding that they have both been blest with the arrival of this precious gift. But shortly thereafter, he vanishes. He, Mary and Jesus flee to Egypt, escaping Herod’s slaughter of the “innocents”, but is not heard from again. This good man, who played such a major role in Christ’s birth, is gone. Talk about a thankless job! But it’s easy to remember the multitude of thankless jobs we have all undertaken. In fact, many of the most generous and loving acts we may offer up, often go un-thanked. This, then, becomes about those random acts of kindness that many of us strive to include in our day to day activities. It feels so good to make someone’s day. In fact, their gratitude is hardly necessary, if even desired. Sitting in my car at Starbuck’s Drive-thru, being informed that the person in the car ahead of me just paid for my coffee is definitely a “day maker”. I can hardly wait then, to do the same for the car behind me, knowing how it will make them feel. Think of how many of these kind gestures could really make someone’s day, while taking almost no effort on our part. OK – your turn!
Thus says the Lord of hosts:
Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy
to one another.
ZECHARIAH 7: 9
God of kindness. God of love. You gave us the example of perfect love in your Son, Jesus. Even the simplest act of kindness can be transformational both for the intended recipient, and for ourselves. You ask so little from us, and demonstrate great patience when we are slow to respond. Help us to heed your call to love kindness, and do justice, as we humbly walk with you, Amen.
~Rev. L. Michael Kelley