It’s Not About You

There’s no denying that I’m the least important person in my home during the Christmas season.  My wife proudly decorates every corner of the house the moment we finish eating our Thanksgiving meal. Our tree is full of a mix of homemade ornaments but none of my childhood decorations make the cut. We have four stockings hanging on our mantle, one for each kid but there’s no space for mine anymore.  On Christmas morning, Santa comes and leaves several piles of gifts but none are marked for me (This actually doesn’t bother me because I’m a firm believer that there’s no life in stuff). We seek to keep Jesus at the center of Christmas where He belongs but it’s clear that I’m an afterthought. I would venture to say that most men probably feel this truth around the Christmas season.

This isn’t a new phenomenon but has been taking place since the first Christmas. Matthew 1:18-25 tees up the Christmas story with a background character named Joseph. Jesus is the main character and Mary plays a magnificent supportive role. Angels, wise men, shepherds and even animals are all focal points in Jesus’ birth as they display beautiful acts of worship to this newborn King. The spotlight is always on Jesus and Joseph humbly serves in the shadows.  We can learn a lot from Jesus’ earthly father, Joseph.

Joseph had the desire to serve the Lord and faithfully serve his wife (Matthew 1:24-25). On two occasions, he heard from the Lord and was diligent to act upon it.  He was described as a just man (Mt. 1:19) and displays gentle care and love for both his wife and Jesus. No complaints or discouragement is voiced despite lengthy travels to Bethlehem and less than desirable stable accommodations. From his initial introduction through the entire Christmas account, Joseph is a silent but strong leader.

Men, be encouraged by Joseph’s life and welcome the truth that Christmas isn’t about you. Take time this month to read through the Christmas story in Matthew 1-2 and Luke 2:1-20.

Grant Giesler, RTM