"upright", hopeful man
The gospel calls Joseph an "upright" man.
He was upright because, like his neighbors at Nazareth, he observed all the Jewish laws.
But not from lip service.
Joseph firmly believed in his heart in the God of Israel, who loved all things great and small, yes, even Nazareth and a humble carpenter.
An inward man, Joseph saw in the simple, ordinary world about him more than others saw.
His neighbor casting seed on the family field he loved - was not God's passionate love for the land of Israel like that?
Even as he built a village house or a table, his thoughts sometimes turned to another world: was not God building a kingdom for his people?
An inward man, Joseph saw beyond the fields and mountains of the small town of Nazareth, but he said little about his inmost dreams to others.
A quiet man, he kept his own counsel.
Someone someday, perhaps, would understand.
Nor would he say much of something else that made him proud: his descent from King David.
His family could trace its ancestry through generations back to the Shepherd King of Bethlehem, one ofIsrael's great heroes. By Joseph's time, David's descendants were many, but Jewish tradition said that one day the Messiah would be born from one of David's family. The carpenter could not forget a promise such as that.
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