Posts tagged “Joseph of Nazareth

Sermo Dei: Trinity 1, 2017

Posted on June 18th, 2017

God built fatherhood into man’s nature. God made man and blessed him for fatherhood. “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it” (Gen. 1.28). Man was made for fatherhood. The man we call Abraham is—as you can see from today’s Old Testament reading (Gen. 15:1-6)—originally named Abram. Abram means “exalted father.” That refers to God, Our Father. Abram, named for the Father, wants to be a father himself. Abram wants a son. But he is old, and his wife is old. Some of you know how difficult it can be to conceive a child. And as the years go by, you feel worthless, and hopeless. That’s where Abram and his wife Sarai are. They didn’t have the many options that confront…

Sermo Dei: Christmas I (observed)

Posted on January 4th, 2015

With every Bible passage, we have to ask two questions: First, what does it mean? And Second, how does it apply to me? For the first question, What does it mean?, we use grammar, history, and context. But the second question, How does this apply to me?, recognizes that these words are also the Word of God to us and for us. The Apostles tell us that they write these things not only as histories, but to admonish us (1 Cor. 10.11), to instruct us (2 Tim. 3.16). The Law of the Lord changes our soul, gives us wisdom, joy, and enlightenment (Ps. 19.7f), and the testimony of Jesus gives us life (Jn. 20.30f). St. John says that the things they wrote are the…

Christmas Eve Vespers

Posted on December 25th, 2013

Christmas Eve Vespers Matthew 1:18-25 Families. Probe beneath the surface and you’ll find they all have problems. That becomes especially manifest at Christmas. Some are divided by distance, others in anger. Divorce, death, wayward children, resentments and grudges – every family knows brokenness and pain. So it is fitting that Jesus is born into an unconventional family. Families have had problems since Cain, the first son of our first parents, killed Abel his brother. The rest of the Old Testament reads like a family therapist’s case study: betrayal, hatred, infidelity, polygamy, incest. The occasion of Mary’s pregnancy would seem to be another in a long line of sordid tales. Joseph doesn’t believe that virgins conceive. Who would? Surely nobody believes this anymore. After all,…

Christmas Eve 2011 Solemn Vespers

Posted on January 17th, 2012

December 24, 2011: Christmas Eve (Early) Solemn Vespers Matthew 1:18-25 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  Joseph is the father of Jesus. Does that scandalize you? Joseph is the father of Jesus. That is the point St. Matthew is making in the first chapter of his gospel.  He begins this way: “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham.” Genealogies were important to the Jews. The first book of the Bible, Genesis, is filled with them. And not just genealogies—lists of fathers and sons—for the sake of nostalgia. The biblical genealogies are the record of a promise, a promise made by God, long ago, to our first parents,…