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St. Joseph, Guardian of Jesus

We read today a devotion from Meditations on the Gospels that focuses on the reading from Matthew.

Scripture Readings

2 Samuel 7:4–16
Psalm 127
Romans 4:13–18
Matthew 2:13–15, 19–23

Read the propers for today on lutherancalendar.org.

Devotional Reading

“Those who sought the child’s life are dead.” And Christ Jesus still is King of kings. He lives in the hearts of millions. The gates of hell do not prevail against Him and His Church. Those who oppose the Christ Child finally go down in defeat.

Through the Wise Men of the East and Scripture, King Herod learned that the newborn King would be found in Bethlehem. Thinking it over, Herod decided to get rid of the Child. So he ordered all the innocent babies to be murdered to make sure that the newborn King would be destroyed. But before Herod could carry out his plot and kill all the baby boys, Joseph, Mary, and Jesus are on their way to Egypt. And although Herod succeeded in slaughtering many innocent boys, he failed in his unholy scheme to defeat the new King. After a time, the holy family returned to Israel. “Those who sought the child’s life are dead.”

Evil, wicked, brutal men had their little day. Seemingly triumphant, no one seems to be able to put a halt to their vicious plans. Righteousness, truth, and justice are trampled underfoot. However, when the last chapter is written, they are dead.

Even when Jesus was nailed to the accursed tree, even when He breathed His last human breath, sin did not win the ultimate victory. For that one day the disciples were stunned. They could not understand. Total darkness also entered their hearts and minds. But before the sun set that Friday, Jesus exclaimed: “It is finished!” Satan, sin, and death were defeated, and man was redeemed.

Through the ages, the nonbeliever has sought to wipe out the Gospel by edicts, by sword, by ridicule, and by criticism. But to this day, the Gospel message reaches the ends of the earth to bring salvation, peace, hope, and guidance to sin-troubled and weary souls. They are dead who seek to destroy Jesus and His Gospel. Christ lives forever!

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I seek refuge in You. You are my present helper in every trouble of life, the keeper of my body, and the lover of my soul in Christ, my Redeemer. I come to be healed of my sin, to be strengthened against temptation, and to be comforted in sorrow. For Jesus’ sake, help me and save me. Amen.

Devotional reading and prayer are from Meditations on the Gospels, pages 24–26 © 2009 Concordia Publishing House. Originally published in 1948 as The Devotional Bible. All rights reserved.

 

Written by

Anna Johnson

Deaconess Anna Johnson is a marketing manager at Concordia Publishing House. After graduating from the deaconess program at Concordia University Chicago, she continued her studies at the University of Colorado—Denver in education and human development. She has worked as a church youth director and served a variety of other nonprofit organizations, such as the Lutheran Mission Society of Maryland. Anna loves playing video games and drinking a hot cup of tea almost as much as she loves her cat and her husband.

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