Today the Church remembers and honors St. Joseph, the stepfather and guardian of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Lutheran Service Book gives these readings for observing this day:
2 Samuel 7:4-16 – God will raise up David’s offspring and He shall build a house for God’s name.
Psalm 127 – “Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.”
Romans 4:13-18 – God’s promise of offspring for Abraham came through the righteousness of faith.
Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23 – Joseph protects the Infant Jesus in the flight to Egypt then returns to the land of Israel and settles in Nazareth of Galilee.
Collect of the Day:
Almighty God, from the house of Your servant David You raised up Joseph to be the guardian of Your incarnate Son and the husband of His mother, Mary. Grant us grace to follow the example of this faithful workman in heeding Your counsel and obeying Your commands; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
We sing our thanks for Joseph,
The guardian of our Lord,
Who faithfully taught Jesus
Through craft and deed and word.
Grant wisdom, Lord, and patience
To parents ev’rywhere
Who guide and teach the children
Entrusted to their care. (LSB 517:14)
“Oh, Joseph, of the great heart, wearing goodness and understanding. You are strong, Joseph, a man of toil, of gnarled hands and faith and wise judgment. For a short moment long ago, you hesitated before this child, but then, in fullest love, you battled for him mightily, and won.
“You will endure, Joseph, for out of homeless nights and weary journeys and strength and sacrifice for a child, you built not beams and trestles, but life. Old carpenter, it is said you died in Jesus’ early manhood, but the structure that you raised lives on beyond the best of wood. You did not know at first, Joseph. But that boy was yours because you wanted him, and is yours, even as he is all mankind’s who want him.” (George W. Cornell [1920-1995], They Knew Jesus; cited in For All the Saints, III:1316)