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Lenten Devotions: "Keep Walkin'"

This Lenten season, Bread Blog will be running a series of devotions written by Pastor Ron Glusenkamp, senior pastor at Bethany Lutheran Church in Cherry Hills Village, Colo. The reflections are based, in part, on the music of Peter Mayer, accomplished vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter. The theme for this year's series is "Mighty This Love," named for one of Mayer's compositions (Listen to a special welcome message from Mayer).

This post is reprinted, with permission, from Glusenkamp's site, h20 devos. Audio podcast versions of the daily devotionals are also available.


'Footprints on the beach' photo (c) 2009, Christian Haugen - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/March 19, 2014

"On a cold dark night, a man and his wife to be
Walked a wilderness road
With a donkey, supplies and a woman with child
Don't you know it's a heavy load
Joseph, a good man of Carpenter's trade
Had made plans to make Mary his mate
Then an angel appeared
And said Joe don't you fear
But the Spirit will dance with your date
The Spirit will dance with your date

Hey Joseph, keep walking
Hey Joseph, keep walking
Hey Joseph, keep walking
To Bethlehem
Hey Joseph, keep walking
Hey Joseph, keep walking
Keep walking, Joseph
You're part of the plan."

Lyrics from "Hey Joseph," by Peter Mayer

Peter's poetry has such a lovely and gracious way of saying it: he describes what is basically indescribable. The Word becoming flesh. Peter doesn't try to present it in physiological or theological terms. He elegantly writes, "Then an angel appeared/And said 'Joe don't you fear'/But the Spirit will dance with your date."

Twelve simple words is all takes to put out there a heavenly birth announcement that has dumbfounded and confounded people of every time and place.

I love the words, "You're part of the plan." Joseph probably felt that he was not part of the plan when Mary informed him of her pregnancy. He was the last to know that Mary was to carry and give birth to the Christ child. When the reality broke through his shock, my sense is that Joseph felt like walking away from it all. Perhaps he'd move away and start all over again. But God had different plans for him. God wanted Joseph to walk with Mary through the whole journey to Bethlehem, to Egypt and back home again.

Peter sings, "Hey Joseph, keep walking/Hey Joseph, keep walking/Keep walking, Joseph."

Perhaps the three words "Keep walking, Joseph" were a little mantra that he even said to himself in order to stay calm when the going got tough. And tough did it get when the neighbors saw Mary's baby bump and started doing the math. It was tough when they had to make the long trek to Bethlehem (House of Bread), where Jesus the Bread of Life was to be born. It got tough when God let them know they needed to go to Egypt for the safety and security of their child.

"Hey Joseph, keep walking/Hey Joseph, keep walking/Keep walking, Joseph."

So today, as the Church honors Joseph (the ultimate stand-up guy), take a few moments to consider what promise God is asking you to hold onto and to follow. Spend a little bit of time reflecting on where and when you need "to keep walkin'" because "you're part of the plan."

I always try to hold onto the following passage and let it hold onto me,

"For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, "Plans for your wellbeing and not for your harm" (Jeremiah 29:11).


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