Monday, December 2, 2019

Joseph the Carpenter

Oil on Panel for 
"Rejoice! Advent Meditations with Joseph" Journal
by Ascension Press

Advent at Work.
Joseph was a carpenter. He worked daily with his hands—chopping, sawing, hammering, chiseling, and sanding—making things for others. It must have been hot, tiresome, gritty work.  Joseph was a craftsman. It was a career that required skill, devotion, physical labor, and discipline. It also required humility and a dependence upon God and the economy of others to earn a living wage.
When I am working on a painting, my mind tends to delve deeply into a kind of meditative state. Part of me is problem–solving the task at hand. Another other part of me is always thinking about the meaning of the image being created. In this painting, Joseph is putting finishing touches on a table. I wonder what his mind was thinking about as he worked in the months prior to the birth of Jesus. I would imagine there would be mixed bag of anticipation, worry, fear, and insecurity. But there would also be joy, hope, peace, and love.
These are but some of the characteristics that could be found in the man whom God chose to be a father figure to the Christ. It would make sense that Jesus would grow up to be a man of devotion, humility and trust in God. Jesus spent much of his ministry at table with others. Even to this day, two thousand years later, we come to a table to remember Him.
As we ponder the gift of the incarnation this season, may we also give thanks for Joseph. May His devotion to God, family, and work be an inspiration in our Advent lives today.

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