Sunday Service Sermons
Fathers and Families
Satan has had his way with families and with Fathers.
With most homes not having a complete God ordered family no wonder things are in the mess that they are in.
How fortunate you were to have a good, functioning family unit.
And how wonderful of you to provide such a safe zone for you children.
We are fortunate, and blessed, but it did not happen by chance.
We worked at it.
We dedicated ourselves to the raising of our families.
We might be the privileged but several generations worked to make this happen.
We did have opportunities that many do not have.
But what we do have was not handed to us. We worked for it.
We made the most of the opportunities we had before us.
One of those opportunities was to have a strong family where children could grow up in safety and become what they wanted to become.
A successful home and family setting has a mother and father who work together, under God, to provide a home from which the children can become all that they were created to be.
I tried to find some good thoughts about Father’s online but they wanted me to join and pay up to $200 a year for sermon helps.
Spending hours or even minutes for me, online to find something that might be good is not my thing.
The source that I purchase each year for ideas and help used Joseph as an example of a good father.
I thought we did that before.
Then I got to thinking about examples of good Fathers in the Bible.
King David is a hero in some ways but not as a Father.
He failed miserably as a Father.
Some say that with is moral laps he did not think he should try to be a role model for good fathers.
Maybe it should have been just the opposite, he could have spoken from experience.
There are not many good role models in the Bible when it comes to being a good Father.
Jesus gave some good stories and examples of how God is a good Father.
Loving, kind, merciful, forgiving, and always there for us.
Maybe we should just do our best to be like God.
Most of us here today had good role models for fathers.
Maybe if we did not we would not be here.
The Scripture lesson for today is: Matt. 1:19-25.
This is the story of the birth of Jesus.
When Mary comes back from seeing Elizabeth she is showing that she is with child.
Joseph is willing to divorce her quietly and not make a public spectacle of her.
Which could have been the end of her life.
She could have been stoned for her condition.
Then, as he slept, an angel of the Lord came to him and explained the situation.
Mary was pregnant with God’s child.
Do not be afraid to take her as your wife, the Messiah lives in her womb.
That would wake you up wouldn’t it?
Then the scripture is quoted that is being fulfilled in this situation.
His name is to be Jesus and they will call him Immanuel; God with us.
“When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife”. Matt. 1:24.
Christmas focuses on Jesus and Mary but how about Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus?
Sermons on Joseph are a bit rare for sure.
The Catholic tradition holds Joseph in high regard but the Protestants mostly ignore him.
Wouldn’t you say that Joseph was a remarkable man?
He was chosen by God to be the earthly father of Jesus.
Matthew says the most about him.
Of course he was in the linage of David.
He was of a good family.
He was there when Jesus was born, the shepherds came and the wise men came to gave him homage.
Then God said take the boy and flee to Egypt, and he did.
Then God said it was ok to go back home and he did.
He presented Jesus to the Temple, as required by the law.
Jesus called Joseph father and was subject to his authority.
Joseph feared God and worked hard to support his family in a rustic town disdained for its obscurity and lack of importance.
It is assumed that Joseph died when Jesus was a young man with Jesus becoming the head of the home and providing for the family.
He continued the family trade as a carpenter.
By the time Jesus headed off to complete his mission his brothers were old enough to take over the family business.
What do we know of Joseph in order to claim he was a good man?
The Bible states that Joseph was a just man and he did what God asked of him.
He lived by a high standard.
Yet he was an ordinary man.
He knew what was right and what was wrong.
He was a good man with ordinary abilities, but he put those abilities in God’s hands and God used him.
God wants to use us in the same way.
Joseph wanted to be seen as a righteous man in his community.
He had a godly reputation and wanted to keep it that way.
He knew he was not the father of the child living in the womb of Mary.
But he was willing to not expose Mary to public ridicule.
He was a kind man doing the best thing for his betrothed, Mary.
His emotional balance in this crises is amazing.
He was a man of God for when he awoke from his dream he had no reservations and took Mary as his wife.
He was obedient to his vision from heaven.
After this dream he had no further doubts and unreservedly accepted Mary as his wife.
Together they had perfect faith in God and each other.
Joseph was a faithful father providing Jesus with a human example of faithfulness to God and family.
Jesus had warm memories of Joseph as his earthly father.
He used examples of Joseph and compared them to our good heavenly father.
“If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” Matt. 7:11
The parable of Jesus about the prodigal son is perhaps most revealing.
This moving story could also be called the parable of the loving father.
The best part of the story is the boy’s return from a far country.
We know that the father never ceased to watch for him for, “when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him.”
The father ran, showing his own eagerness for reconciliation.
He joyfully welcomed his son back home with a robe, ring, shoes, and a joyous feast.
The father said to his other son, “Your brother was lost and is found”.
Jesus said that God is like that.
Though you may have wondered away from him, he is a loving Father who longs for your return.
He will forgive you and restore your place as his son or daughter if you will turn from your old life and look to him.
Families cry out for fathers like Joseph who can prepare their children to be God’s people.
If you have or had one, thank God for him.
If you are one then pray that God will help you be what is needed to bring your family to God for his use.
(pray for and about Godly fathers)