This blog is a part of our series of advent devotionals, written by the faculty of Lancaster Bible College. We hope these devotionals will help you to focus on the true meaning of Christmas!
Reputations matter. Whenever someone hears my name, there are words or memories that rise to the surface about their knowledge of or relationship with me. The same is true with familiar stories of Bible characters. What pops into your mind when you hear Joseph mentioned in Matthew’s and Luke’s gospels? One word summarizes him in Scripture…righteous.
A study of Joseph’s life is revelatory. Did you know he was the silent member of the Christmas story? He speaks not a word-- but his legacy spoke volumes. Honestly, it doesn’t quite seem fair to me: Gabriel, Mary, Elizabeth, other angels, shepherds, Simeon, Magi, King Herod, chief priests and teachers of the law got to speak. But Joseph was silent. It seems his righteousness spoke louder than words.
It was an unparalleled honor to be providentially chosen as the earthly role model of fatherhood. Of all men, God entrusted Joseph with the responsibility to protect Jesus from those who wanted to kill Him as an infant, provide for His physical needs and teach Him an honorable trade. But all that Joseph did was the fruit of virtuous roots.
Not many biblical characters earned the reputation of being righteous. His behavior was upright, just and morally right because his relationship with God the Father was right. This right relationship with God influenced Joseph to do everything he was instructed and expected to do. Apparently righteousness does speak louder than words! Joseph left a legacy of righteousness. So should we.
REFLECTION: Read Matthew 1:19 and consider how Joseph was righteous. Today, choose to be silently righteous rather than speak those pious words. When you are faced with the choice to speak or to be silent, choose silence and righteousness.
PRAYER: Lord, my heart is grateful for the quiet righteousness of Joseph, who obeyed you even when it was difficult. Forgive me for my complaints rather than quiet submission. Help me today and each day of this busy season to choose silence and righteousness. Amen.