Companion. Pioneer.
 

After Herod died, the Lord´s angel appeared to Joseph in the dream while he was still in Egypt and said to him, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.” So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. And he arrived and lived in a town called Nazareth.

 

In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and proclaiming: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” John’s clothes were made out of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food consisted out of locusts and wild honey. People came to see him from Jerusalem and all Judea and from the whole region of the Jordan River. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the River.

 

Mathew 2, 19 – 3,6 (extracts)

Dear readers,
 

God cannot be stopped.  He continues his way with the people which he calls out of their daily routine. Joseph gets new instructions. Meanwhile, Herod and his henchmen are no longer alive. Now God leads Joseph on to the next destination: Nazareth. That's where Jesus should go. There God continues his plan of salvation.
 

Joseph becomes a companion. He accompanies the Son of God on to his further journey. That is his service he does for God. I imagine Joseph taking care of his wife and Jesus day after day. He goes to work, earns his money and is a caring, substitute father. The painter Conrad von Soest (1370 - 1422) has described this wonderfully in his painting "The Nativity".  Joseph kneels on the floor and cooks  porridge for Jesus on a fire. You can find the picture at Wikipedia.
 

Since then there are innumerable "Josephs" and "Josephines". For these People Jesus Christ is their center in life. In the middle of daily routine. They go about their work day after day, as craftsmen like Josef or as salesmen, as lawyers or mechanics. But their heart beats for Jesus Christ. They go through life on his side.
 

These "Josephs," women and men, are not eloquent people like John the Baptist. They also do not stand out by fancy clothes or by a particularly exciting lifestyle. They may not have written a book. Perhaps never preached. Only their names are known. It is the faithful in an inconspicuous everyday life who are very close to the Lord Jesus Christ. Their heart burns for Jesus Christ. Her "blessed workshop" is the Bible, as Martin Luther once said.
 

These are people who one day simply fade away from the general view, like Joseph at his time. We do not hear from him much longer (look at Luke 2:41). But one thing is important: His name is inextricably linked with Jesus Christ. And that is exactly what I wish for you and for me. I wish that we remain in the love of God (1 John 4:16) "God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them". I wish also for us the joy from which Jesus says, "Rejoice that your names are written in heaven"(Luke 10, 20). I wish that our names are inextricably linked with Jesus Christ.
 

When Joseph's time had come, another man appeared in the Lord´s history of salvation: John the Baptist. He was the forerunner for Jesus. God needs these types of people, even today. No matter what they look like. Important is this message: "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near. Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him!” (Matthew 3).
 

And this is what I wish for you and me: That we may be pioneers for our fellow human beings. That we may be able to clear the way for the Lord Jesus Christ. In a practical way, as the Apostle Paul in Romans 12:18 has described it: "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone“. Turning to Jesus Christ means turning to the peace of God. Where Jesus Christ is the center of life, there is no room left for hatred and violence, for revenge and retaliation. Jesus Christ is our companion, who tells us daily: "Peace be with you" (John 20, 26).
 

I wish you a good start for the coming week! Be a companion of Jesus and a forerunner of HIS love. May the peace of our Lord be with you!
 

Translated by R. Jordan

 

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