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W2W 12 Days Of Christmas Day 3

On the 3rd Day of Christmas my First Love gave to me:

A loving Father

Most of my writings are centred on women and what it means to be a Christian woman living in today’s world. However I believe that many of the pressures we face as women today are also experienced by men. All around us today there are many definitions portrayed on TV, in books and in the movies of what the world says a man is supposed to be. Sexy, rich, powerful, intelligent etc etc. I believe that the pressures on men today are just as demanding as they are on women.

That’s not to say I understand today’s man, as I can’t even fathom what the men in my life would like for Christmas, let alone comprehend what goes on in their minds. That said I do give thanks to God for the wonderful men in my life. Men who have loved and protected me, taught me great things and been an inspiration to me. I have also been blessed to have not only my father God, but my dad and my stepfather. And the man in today’s story knew what the role of stepfather required. In fact my stepfather bears a lot of the same qualities. He isn’t rich and famous and neither was this man but both men showed great love, patience and mercy. Qualities that far out weigh money and power any day.

Joseph was an ordinary man, he came from a town called Nazareth and as we read in scripture, he made a living out of making things out of wood. He may not have been rich or powerful but the bible tells us in Matthew 1:19 that he was a righteous man. In yesterday’s reflections we read of the news that Mary had been visited by an angel and told that she would give birth to the son of God, even though a virgin. We concluded that this woman had great faith and trust in God. But what about Joseph how did he feel? He was betrothed to Mary, the plan for this couple’s marriage and future was already in place. How did he feel about this news? Did he believe her? Even if he did, how was he going to deal with the town’s people who would either think this child was conceived out of marriage or that perhaps this woman had been unfaithful to her fiancé? This was not a great situation for Joseph.

However just as Mary was a dependant woman of God, trusting in him, so too was Joseph a dependant man of God. Joseph was a kind man and his initial plan was to send her away but not to disgrace her (Matthew 1:19) but he was also a man of God and when the angel appeared to him as he had to Mary (Matthew1: 20-25) he too knew that God’s ways were higher than his own. Not only was he merciful but he was obedient and humble.

So Joseph took on the role of Stepfather to Jesus. There will have been many days I am sure that were difficult for him, but he was there. He protected, he provided and he persevered. He was with them on the road to Bethlehem. He was there at the birth and he was the one to protect Mary and Jesus when Herod’s men were hunting the baby down (Matthew 2:13). These are the qualities of a good man. Not that he would be rich and powerful but that he would be loving, kind and compassionate.

Who are the men in your life today, boyfriends, husbands, fathers, grandfathers, pastors? Are you struggling this year to find them the right gift? The greatest gift we can give them is to share the love of Christ with them. To pray for them and give thanks for them. However, you may be reading this today and for whatever reason you have been hurt or let down by the men in your life. Then the good news today is that you have a father who loves you, who will never leave you or abandon you. He is merciful and kind and all you have to do is allow him to love you. For God the father loves you.



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