“Joseph’s Lullaby” by MercyMe
Go to sleep my Son
This manger for your bed
You have a long road before You
Rest Your little head
Can You feel the weight of Your glory?
Do You understand the price?
Or does the Father guard Your heart for now
So You can sleep tonight?
Go to sleep my Son
Go and chase Your dreams
This world can wait for one more moment
Go and sleep in peace
I believe the glory of Heaven
Is lying in my arms tonight
But Lord, I ask that He for just this moment
Simply be my child
Go to sleep my Son
Baby, close Your eyes
Soon enough You’ll save the day
But for now, dear Child of mine
Oh my Jesus, Sleep tight
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Our son, Rhett, turned two years-old recently. A few weeks before his birthday, a NICU nurse at Florida Hospital in Orlando (where our daughter was staying at the time) asked me how old Rhett was. I responded, “Oh, he’s 23 months.”
“Oh, so he’s two,” she responded.
I laughed and gasped, “No! He’s 23 months, he’s not two yet! I know that’s practically two years-old, but I don’t want to age him any faster than I have to!”
Although our son is only two years-old, I try every single day to try to cherish and remember something about him. My wife and I love marveling over something new that he’s learned that day, or a words that has learned to suddenly surprises us with, or a new means of playing with a toy that he wasn’t capable of before.
Our home is a place of celebrating and encouraging our son, and now our daughter, because we know that one day they will grow up and seek out their own vision and purpose in life, and the best thing that we can do for them is to show them God’s love as much as possible.
Joseph and Mary were Jesus’ parents. They raised him in the same way that any other Jewish boy in Ancient Palestine would have been raised at the time. They helped him learn how to speak, how to read, and guided him in his adherence to the Jewish religion, such as observing all the feasts and customs of the time.
Joseph and Mary knew all the concerns and difficulties of parenthood, and carried that joy and burden with them throughout their lives.
Although most of the Gospel accounts depicts the three years that Jesus spent publicly ministering, in reality he spent far more time in his thirty-three years of life in the company of his parents. Luke describes this largely unrecorded childhood and young adulthood in 2:51-53:
“Then he returned to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. And his mother stored all these things in her heart. Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people.”
We can only speculate about how much Jesus was shaped by his parents. No doubt many of his perspectives and ideas were rooted in wisdom passed onto him by his parents, just as it is the same for any child. Joseph and Mary were divinely selected to raise God Incarnate, and we have to believe that one of the reasons they were picked is because of the unique love, devotion, and care that they would give him in his youth to fulfill his purpose and mission on this earth.
For those of you who are parents, or aspire to be parents, we can look to Mary and Joseph as role models. Their dedication and sacrifice for their child helped Jesus to grow up into the man he would become. If we want our children to make real, lasting impact on this world and contribute to the advancement of God’s kingdom, then we too have to take on the responsibility of raising them in the lens of God’s love and wisdom.
The best thing that we can do for our children is, like Mary and Joseph, to be followers of God, obedient to his direction, and willing to follow the mission of the Gospel in our own lives.
I pray for each person who is responsible for the care and development of a child or youth, or stewarding the path of an adult who has since grown. There are many ways that we can foster the next generation, and it is humbling to know that you entrust us with their needs. I pray that you will strengthen all of us to follow your will as the caretakers of your children, and overwhelmingly convince us that your ways are best for us and our families. Amen.
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