It was mid-way through December and I was telling a minister friend how I had preached on Joseph, the father of Jesus, the Sunday before. The message was all about obedience and carrying out the will of the Lord, even when it didn’t jive with what you’d always been taught and believed.
Joseph gives us a powerful lesson, and he deserves more than the short shrift he is usually given.
My friend said, “Let me tell you a little story I sometimes use when I’m preaching on Joseph.”
As you know, scholars believe Joseph died before Jesus began His earthly ministry because he is never mentioned again after the incident when Jesus was 12. (That would be Luke chapter 2.)
Anyway, I was thinking about what God said to Joseph when he died and arrived in Heaven.
Back when I was in college, I worked one summer on the wheat harvest. Do you know what that is?
I said, “College boys working from Texas to the Dakotas driving combines.”
Right. It’s all day, seven days a week. One of our neighbors had recruited me and was our crew chief. It was the hardest work I’ve ever done in my life.
At the end of the summer when I got home, all I wanted to do was sleep. But the second day, my father came into my room and said, “Get dressed, son. I want you to go with me somewhere.”
We got in the pickup truck and drove about 20 miles. I had no idea where we were going.
We drove up into the yard of the man who had been my crew chief. Dad knocked and the man came to the door.
Dad stuck out his hand and said, “I just want to thank you for taking care of my son.”
And with that, we walked off the porch and drove the 20 miles back home.
You talk about making an impression on a boy about how important he was to his father!
Then, my friend paused and said, And Joe, I think when Joseph arrived in Heaven, the Father met him and said, “I just want to thank you for taking care of my Son.”
Lynn Clayton, longtime editor (now retired) of our (Louisiana) Baptist Message, is that friend. I treasure the story.
Anyone who gives me a great story is a friend for life!
A postscript to pastors and teachers–
You do not need permission to cite this story, quote it, or use in any way. That’s why we post it! Personally, I don’t think it’s necessary to give your source when telling such a story. If someone asks later where you got it, then you can tell them.