Summary: What can Joseph teach us as men?

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“Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.’ All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:

‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,

and they shall call his name Immanuel’

(which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.” [1]

Having listened to a group of older men argue, a younger man once rebuked those elders,

“I am young in years,

and you are aged;

therefore I was timid and afraid

to declare my opinion to you.

I said, ‘Let days speak,

and many years teach wisdom.’

But it is the spirit in man,

the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand.

It is not the old who are wise,

nor the aged who understand what is right.”

[JOB 32:6-9]

Can we truly learn from the younger members of society? Is it possible that we have so muddied the waters of contemporary church culture that we need a fresh start? Speaking quite broadly, it seems that our culture is circling the drain, moving ever faster as we are drawn downward into the sewers of our broken world where there is little hope of recovery.

Throughout this past year, I have pondered the pending death of contemporary society. By every conceivable metric, we are a dying culture. The end cannot be long delayed. Our politicians are incapable of rising to the level of being statesmen. Our educators are social justice warriors intent on creating a bold new amoral world, and our children are the guinea pigs. The churches have become mausoleums filled with the bones of a glorious, powerful past.

There was a time when the churches believed what was written in the Word. For far too many of the churches of this day, that has changed. A United Church minister has asked to be defrocked in protest of the firing of an atheist colleague. Imagine! An atheist openly serving as a minister of a mainline congregation is upset because she had to endure a hearing in which her views were deemed “extreme.” Now, a colleague, standing in solidarity with her, has asked that she be defrocked if her sister minister is no longer allowed to pastor a congregation!

The atheist minister of this United Church is supported by more than two dozen current and former ministers who wrote, in a letter to the church’s moderator, “To remove her on the grounds of her beliefs would not only ignore and offend her very obviously effective leadership, it would offend our tradition of heterodoxy and inclusion, and send a chilling message to our progressive colleagues all across the church.”

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