First United Methodist Church, Lewistown, PA 17044  ~  717-248-4618   ~  fumc200@outlook.com

Part of a bigger plan.

December 18, 2016

    Do you ever feel insignificant in the grand scheme of things? The world can make us feel that way. So much to do, so little time to do it, and a host of voices telling us we're not really enough can throw us for a loop.  Lately, there has been a big push for us to investigate our family trees. All the online resources offer us help to find out where we came from. Our origins never determine why we are here though. When we discover our ancestors were royalty, we get pretty excited about that. When we find out our ancestors were scoundrels, we want to wipe that part of our history off the board. What if we truly believed that we were here for a divine purpose? Would that change the way we feel right now?

    I was reading through the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew chapter one and stumbled over a lot of those names that nobody calls their children by anymore. I realize the names represent families and all pointing toward the birth of Jesus but they are a tough read.  As I drew close to the end of the read, I noticed verse 16. It says, "and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ."  Okay, I think I knew Jacob was the father of Joseph....maybe??  Actually, I was not aware that Joseph's father was Jacob so I learned something new.

    What really caught my attention was what the angel of the Lord called Joseph later in verse 20. The angel did not address Joseph as the son of Jacob but rather the angel said, "Joseph, son of David". Clearly the angel (and God) desired to remind Joseph of his important role in the coming Savior of the world. While Joseph was a simple carpenter, he was also going to care for Mary and the baby Jesus.  God was reminding Joseph of the covenant and prophecy concerning Jesus coming from the house and lineage of David.

    15. "Eliud the father of Eleazar,Eleazar the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob, 16. and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ. Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Christ.....20. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit." (Matthew 1:15, 16, 20, NIV)

    With the angel's salutation, Joseph was elevated to a new status. He was going to be a carpenter, husband, father, and an important part of God's plan for salvation to humanity.  Joseph would have worth, be recognized as the husband of Mary, and new earthly father to a King. This notoriety would be fleeting as the scriptures go silent on Joseph not long after the birth of Christ.   

But for one event in the overarching story of God, Joseph was called to step forward and assume his place and he did!

    I want to encourage you to consider your special place in God's kingdom and the special work you are being called to do on behalf of God. Any insignificance you might feel should be tempered by an overwhelming sense of worth given to you by the Lord. If your task is to tell the neighbor who lives to your right and to your left the goodness of God and the love of Jesus Christ, then do it well. You may be the only church they might ever get to see. We are part of a bigger plan. Trust me.

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