A Word for the Week

I have been reading from O.S. Hawkins book, The Christmas Code since the first of the month.

Yesterday, the focus was on the man that is most often overlooked in the Christmas narrative. His name was Joseph and while he was not the father of Jesus, his role in raising Jesus and caring for Jesus and Mary was critical in God's plan to redeem mankind from the penalty of sin.

It was Joseph's faithfulness and obedience to follow the word of God that caused the events we often celebrate in December to have occurred. Joseph was there every step of the way to support Mary and supply the family God had given him with strong spiritual leadership. Yet many often overlook his vitally important role choosing rather to focus on Mary or the angels, or even the shepherds and wise men.

While our central focus must always be on the child Jesus in God's purpose to save each of us, we must not forget the contribution of Joseph and so many like him that have played such important roles in God's perfect plan through the years. This world needs more people like Joseph. Those who faithfully embrace their responsibility, whether little or large and show up consistently to support the work that God is directing. People like Joseph supply strength through their presence and with what they can supply under the supervision of God.

While we never hear a word from Joseph in scripture, were he able to speak to you and me today, he might well echo the words of the Apostle Paul to Timothy--

"I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service." 1 Timothy 1:12

To be considered faithful by God is the highest reward of service rendered by God toward the redeemed. And as we have seen in Joseph, you don't have to say much IF anything. It is what you and I do that counts for Christ.

So as another year comes to a close and the expectations of another begin to take shape, the need for faithfulness continues in the ministry of the Lord's church. And as Paul acknowledged, God will put you and I into service and strengthen us in the process. That is something for which we can be thankful this year and in the next!

I plan on taking a break from this ministry next week but we hope to see you Sunday in worship on Christmas Eve @ 10:00 a.m. Planni

ng on having something for the kids during a children's message and God has something for the rest of us as we look at 'the Message of Christmas'.

Merry Christmas and a blessed and bountiful New Year!

Pastor Keith

1 Corinthians 15:58