August 03, 2020

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This months Website is 

sponsored by

Charles & Jade Mound Family,

Jenna Peterson & Raelynn

in Memory of 

Trudy Peterson

 

If you would like to sponsor a month

contact the office.

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Ash Wednesday Service

Please join us at 7:00 pm for Ash Wednesday Service.

Last week's Sermon

 August 2, 2020

Matthew 13:54-58

Joseph: an ordinary man

 

Man, if momma could see me now. I could get some work done with these. I got this tool belt that will hold some tools and materials. I got some new …oh, hi. I guess I didn’t realize you were meeting here. Sorry for interrupting. I was just curious about these new-fangled tools you have here. You see, I used to be a carpenter back in my day. Many of these tools I recognize because they are not that different than in my day …like this hammer and this chisel. From what I’ve heard, this thing with this bubble floating around in it is a level. In my day we had to have something like this that we called a plum line to keep things straight. What I am still puzzled about is this thing with this tail. The tip looks like a drill, but I’m just not sure how this tail thing works.


I’m sorry. I didn’t introduce myself. I am Joseph, the son of Jacob, who is the son of Matthan, who is the son of Eleazar, who is the son of Eliud …and I know you really do not care about my genealogy. But my genealogy is very important because I am a descendant of King David who the Hebrew people were promised would come a Messiah. Yep, that is me …Joseph, Jesus’ father …or should I say Jesus’ earthly father.


Your scriptures don’t say much about me. I’m kind of the forgotten parent of Jesus. Do you know how difficult it is to play second fiddle to God? And when I say second fiddle it is like God is sitting in this chair here and I am barely visible on any map kind of second fiddle. I tell you it is not easy being a father in the shadow of God. God throws a pretty big shadow. But I did the best that an earthly father could do.


From the very beginning, things were pretty confusing. I am a very religious man. I do my best to follow the sacred Laws of Moses. I worship in the synagogues, make the religious trips to the temple with my family when I can. I pray to God and I try to be open to God’s guidance as best as I can. But that praying thing kind of made everything even more confusing.


Let me explain. You see, when Mary and I were engaged to be married, I learned that Mary was pregnant and I knew that I wasn’t the father of the child that she was carrying. Mary said that it was the Holy Spirit of God, but to me that sounded pretty far-fetched. I was confused on what to do. I really loved Mary. Some people thought that since there was such a big age difference between Mary and me that I just wanted a young woman as a wife so she could serve me. You know, cook and clean for me. But I really loved Mary. So, I finally decided that I would just dismiss her quietly. I had every right under Jewish law to publicly humiliate her if I wanted, but I didn’t want to do that.


I had just made up my mind to dismiss her quietly after many days of praying when an angel of God appears to me in a dream. This angel tells me that I should go ahead and take Mary as my wife. He tells me that the child Mary is carrying really is conceived by God. See what I mean about praying can make life even more confusing? Was the angel’s message really from God or was it just some fanciful dream? Well, I am a godly man and even when I am not sure, I will take my chances and listen to God. I have to tell you; I am not disappointed that I did.


It was a huge responsibility to help raise God’s son. It was one I took seriously. You know, I could have left Mary at home because she was so close to giving birth when I went to Bethlehem to register as it was required. But I wanted to be with her when that child came. I wanted to make sure that she and the child were taken care of. And after the child was born, when another angel of the Lord appeared to me to tell me to take the child and Mary to Egypt because King Herod was looking at killing all the young boys under the age of three, you better believe, I listened. I took my young family to Egypt and didn’t come back until another angel of the Lord came and gave me the “all clear” because Herod had died. It was then that I went back and settled in Nazareth with my family.


I know that one of the questions many people would like to ask of me is, “What was it like being an earthly father to God’s Son?”


Honestly, it was not much different than raising any other child. You have to understand that back when Jesus was growing up, we were not really sure he was the Messiah. Oh sure, we had these revelations through dreams and from what other people, such as the shepherds, had said about him. But there was no definite sign that Jesus was what they claimed. We knew he was special in that he had an interest in our Jewish religion and a keen sense of the Law.


It was his interest in religion and the Law that gave us an almighty bad scare once. We were coming home from Jerusalem after the Passover celebration when we thought we had lost him. We had assumed that he was traveling with other family members which was very common in those times as large groups of people would travel together. At the end of the day we went searching for him but we couldn’t find him. In a panic, we went back to Jerusalem and do you know where we found him? Calmly sitting in the temple listening to the teachers and asking them questions.


I have to tell you; momma and I were so relieved to find him, but you had better know we were not very happy with him for giving us a scare like that. He wasn’t concerned though. He knew exactly where he was and he thought we should know as well that he would be in his Father’s house. Well, it is because of that incident that we began to learn a little more about just how special our boy was because the teachers were so impressed by the questions he asked.


Well sadly, I died before Jesus started his ministry. One of my regrets is that I was not able to see him fully develop into the man that he would become. I guess, at least I didn’t have to helplessly watch him die. As much as I would have wanted, there would have been nothing I could have done to protect him. My biggest regret is that I was not there to help Mary go through the pain of losing her son. I loved and cared for her and Jesus, as well as the rest of my family very much.


The temple incident is the last time you will see me mentioned in your scriptures. That is, other than when the religious leaders or others say in amazement and more than just a little disgust, “Isn’t this the son of Joseph, the carpenter?”


They say it as if they cannot believe that something so special and amazing can come from something or someone who is so common and ordinary as a carpenter. This man is amazing …almost God like. He can do amazing things, like heal people. He has wisdom beyond his years. He can debate with the most educated men of his day. He talks as if he knows the thoughts and ways of God. How is that possible when his father is a common ordinary uneducated carpenter who works with his hands? It simply cannot be.


With God, anything is possible. With God, the ordinary becomes extraordinary. With God, the common becomes very special and unique. With God, even a simple, common, ordinary man like me can have the responsibility to help to raise and care for something as precious as God’s very own Son. I was privileged that God trusted me with that responsibility.


The reality is that all of us have that responsibility. In our own unique ways, all of us are called to raise and care for Jesus, the precious Word of God. We are responsible for nurturing and caring for the love of God in Jesus Christ. We are responsible for helping the love and grace of God to grow in a world that is hurting and in need of a word of hope. Just as I, as a parent could not keep Jesus to myself, we cannot keep the love of God to ourselves. We are called to share the love and grace of God that was lived out in Jesus with those around us and the rest of the world.


We might not feel worthy of such a responsibility. After all, who are we, ordinary people living ordinary lives. And yet, those are the people God calls. God calls the ordinary to do the extraordinary. With God, it is possible. I am proof of that. Amen.