Today’s one of those special days on the calendar at the House of Z. Today is the day we celebrate the patriarch of the Z family: my Dad, and even more importantly, our kids and my sister’s kids’ PaPa. And while my Dad has always been an amazing Father, getting to see him love on his grandkids every chance he gets is one of the greatest rewards on this side of Heaven. So Happy Birthday PaPa Z!
And now we find ourselves in a perfect introduction to my next pair of songs on my countdown. This is one of those small, only God moments. I made this list back at the end of November and added the song that I am about to share late, without even thinking of the day it would land on the calendar. But since we are talking about amazing Fathers, I LOVE this new ballad by for King & Country. Watch this video, listen to these lyrics, “The Carol of Joseph,” and take a minute, or the morning, to appreciate the most underappreciated Father in all of history: Joseph. The hard working carpenter. The man who raised the Son of God. As a father myself, I have great gratitude for the life Joseph must have lived. Finding the love of his life, learning their first baby was going to be the Son of God, maintaining his sanity after being visited by the Angel of God, staying by and protecting Mary throughout her pregnancy, and bringing us to the day Jesus was born. Imagine the weight of responsibility Joseph must have felt the first time he held Jesus. I mean I felt it when I held each of my children. There I was holding a little human who would grow to be a world changer, a President, a CEO, an actress, a humanitarian worker, a doctor, or whatever path they chose, but I was one half of the huge equation to raise them to be decent human beings. And here Joseph is holding the Son of God. As for King & Country wrote in the song below, “How can I be the one to raise a King, when this humble life is all I bring?” Joseph was chosen to be the father of Jesus because of his humble nature, his work ethic, his faith, and the fact God knew he would always believe in His Son.
And to go along with this Ballad of Joseph, another special song that the lyrics paint a more realistic picture of the truth of the miracle of Jesus. “Labor of Love” by Meredith Andrews is sung by a mother who knows the pain of childbirth. Ms. Andrews put some honest thought into what really happened the night of Christmas eve and what Mother Mary must have truly gone through the night she endured the brutality of bringing Jesus into the world with just Joseph by her side. So here is our second song at number 16, a beautifully written reminder of what we really need to be celebrating Christmas Day.
Mary and Joseph, the world’s most important parents. They lived humble, faithful lives long before they found out they were going to bring into the world THE child that would change humanity forever. Nine months after they were visited by Angels and given the mission to birth the Baby Jesus, it all came down to a lonely night in the manger, with just the three of them, and all of the Heavenly Host crowding into see, Jesus born into humanity.
13As I watched, I heard an eagle that was flying in the midair call out in a loud voice: “Woe! Woe! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the trumpet blasts about to be sounded by the other three angels!” (Revelation 9:13)
When the seventh seal is opened, seven angels appear with seven trumpets. As each angel sounds their trumpet more calamity falls upon the Earth. More amazing imagery: one third of earth and the trees of earth burned up (all the grass has been burned); a huge meteor crashes into the sea, turning one third of the oceans into blood; a star name “Wormwood” falls into the rivers and turns a third of our fresh water bitter and deadly; and one third of the sun, moon, and stars have vanished. I have read some pretty in depth interpretations of Revelation, and many believe that every line is symbolic to some greater truth. I am no philosopher or religious scholar, so I will offer no personal insight, though I know there has to be some strong significance into why John only saw ⅓ of all those afflicted from the first four angels. Perhaps it is symbolic to the trinity. Jesus and the Holy Spirit are each ⅓ of the trinity, and many think God is the third part of the Trinity, but, me personally, I do not group God with the trinity. To me God is the Father of all Creation, and thus cannot be equal and the same as Jesus. I honestly do not know the truth in the significance of why only 1/3 of everything was affected by the trumpets, and honestly, no one, except God and Jesus knows the truth, so do not get wrapped up in endless analysis. Instead, live a humble, Godly life so when your time here on Earth is up, you can ask the Author of the Universe yourself. There is no “fake news” in Heaven, but you gotta get there first.
Reading plan: Revelation 10
Deeper reading plan: Zechariah 6
Prayer and meditation: This month we pray that the world comes together to celebrate the birth of Jesus. We pray that the miracle of the child in the manger changes this world forever, as it should have nearly 2000 years ago. This week we will also add a prayer for everyone’s financial wellbeing and peace that the pressures of the Christmas holiday do not overburden anyone’s soul.
Fitness challenge: stretch and rest.
Distance run day: 6 miles at a nice comfortable pace.