Bible study meets every Wednesday at 7:30 in the Davis Chapel.

Father's Day

Father's Day recognizes fathers, fatherhood and paternal bonds in general, as well as the positive contributions that they make to society. Father's Day was created to complement Mother's Day, and not only to bring fairness to fathers, but also to acknowledge the importance that both parents have in the rising the children.

The nation's first statewide Father's Day celebration was on July 19, 1910, in Washington State. Slowly, the holiday spread. In 1916, President Wilson honored the day by using telegraph signals to unfurl a flag in Spokane when he pressed a button in Washington, D.C. In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge urged state governments to observe Father's Day. However, many men scoffed at the holiday's sentimental attempts to domesticate manliness. Not until 1972 did President Richard Nixon sign a proclamation making Father's Day a federal holiday at last. Today, economists estimate that Americans spend more than $1 billion each year on Father's Day gifts; significantly less than what is spent on Mother's Day gifts (almost $5 billion).

We are all familiar with God as our Father; for God has revealed Himself to us in the Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. But we don't know too much about the earthly father of Jesus. God chose Joseph to be that man. The Bible tells us, that Joseph was a righteous man. His actions toward Mary, his fiance, revealed he was a kind and sensitive man. When Mary told Joseph she was pregnant, he had every right to feel disgraced. He knew the child was not his own, and Mary's apparent unfaithfulness carried a grave social stigma. Joseph not only had the right to divorce Mary, under Jewish law she could be put to death by stoning.

But God sent an angel to Joseph to verify Mary's story, and to reassure him that his marriage to her was God's will. Joseph willingly obeyed God, in spite of the public humiliation he would face. Perhaps this noble quality made him God's choice for the Messiah's earthly father.

We know that Joseph trained Jesus in his trade, as that of a carpenter and Jesus may have run the business after Joseph died. Also, some believe that Joseph and Mary had children after Jesus was born. It is supposed that Joseph died during the quiet years of Jesus' life. We don't know how or when Joseph died, but the last mention of him in Scripture was when Jesus was 12 years old. Perhaps the cause or timing of his death is not nearly as important as the strength of character he displayed. Joseph obediently accepted the role as surrogate father for God's Son, Jesus Christ.

God honored Joseph's integrity and righteousness by entrusting him with a great responsibility. It is not easy to entrust your children to someone else. Imagine God looking down to choose a man to raise his own son? Joseph had God's trust.

God, our heavenly Father, give us the grace to imitate Joseph's uprightness of life and his obedience to your commands; who from the family of your servant David raised up Joseph to be the guardian of your incarnate Son and the spouse of his virgin mother; grant us your peace.

Blessings to you,