Summary: We want to talk about a step-dad who was given the tremendous responsibility of raising God's Son. His name was Joseph, the husband of Mary, the mother of Jesus. (PowerPoint available - #192)

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(PowerPoints used with this message are available for free. Just email me at and request #192.)

Today is known as Father's Day, & the commemoration of this special day began back in 1910 in Spokane, WA. Necktie & shirt manufacturers have rejoiced ever since.

ILL. Then a few years later, as the celebration began to catch on, a group in Wilkinsburg, PA, declared the dandelion the official Father's Day flower because, they said, "The more it is trampled on, the better it grows."

ILL. Something that Erma Bombeck wrote seems to express the sentiments of Father's Day better than most. Here is an excerpt:

"When I was a little girl, a father was like the light in the refrigerator every house had one, but no one really knew what either one of them did once the door was shut.

"My dad left the house every morning & always seemed glad to see everyone again at night. He opened the jar of pickles when no one else could. He was the only one in the house who wasn't afraid to go into the basement alone.

"He kept busy enough. He set mousetraps. He oiled my roller skates & they went faster. When I got my bike he ran along side me for at least a thousand miles until I got the hang of it. He signed all my report cards. He took a lot of pictures, but was never in them.

"I was afraid of everyone else's father, but not my own. Once I made him some tea. It was only sugar water, but he sat in a small chair & said that it was delicious. He looked very uncomfortable.

"Once I went fishing with him. I threw rocks into the water & he threatened to throw me in after them. I wasn't sure he wouldn't so I looked him in the eye for a long time. I finally decided that he was bluffing, so I threw in one more. He wouldn't have been a very good poker player.

"Whenever I played house the mother doll had a lot to do. But I never knew what to do with the father doll, so I had him say, 'I'm going off to work now,' & threw him under the bed.

"When I was 9 years old my father didn't get up one morning & go to work. He went to the hospital & died the next day. A lot of people came, bringing all kinds of good food & cakes. We had never had so much company at one time before.

"I went to my room & felt under the bed for the father doll. When I found it I dusted him off & put him on my bed. I never knew that his leaving would hurt so much. It still does."

Today we are taking the father doll out from under the bed, & honoring the dandelions & refrigerator lights of society.

PROP. And in doing that, we want to talk about a step-dad who was given the tremendous responsibility of raising God's Son. His name was Joseph, the husband of Mary, the mother of Jesus.

So go with me back in time as we consider his commitment, his concern, & his faithfulness.


The first part of Joseph's story is one of commitment & happy expectations. Matthew 1:18 begins with these words, "This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph . . ."

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