Tag Archives: Joseph

25 Days of Christ – Day 24


“And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Cæsar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.

“(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

“And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

“And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judæa, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

“To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

“And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

“And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

“And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

“And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

“And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

“And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

“And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

“And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

“But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

“And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.” (Luke 2:1-20)

“Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judæa in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,

“Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him….and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.

“When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

“And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.” (Matthew 2:1-2, 9-11)

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”  (Isaiah 9:6)

Christmas is about Christ, He is the gift!

Saint Joseph Day


The Exempla Saint Joseph Hospital in Denver, C...

The Exempla Saint Joseph Hospital in Denver, Colorado, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Today is Saint Joseph Day for Catholics.  It celebrates the life of the foster father of Jesus Christ.  Saint Joseph is the patron saint of workers.  He was a carpenter and taught his trade to Jesus.  At Saint Joseph Hospital they also perform the blessing of the hands.

 

So it seemed only natural to me that the song, “His Hands” by Kenneth Cope would be a perfect fit for Saint Joseph Day.

 

While a truly moving and inspiring song in its own right, the beautiful message it gives is only magnified when done in sign language.

 

Thus began my quest.

 

My friend knows sign language.  She is an expert.  She is skillful, deft, amazing!  I know her from church.  Watching as she signs the hymns was breathtaking.  Her hand movements – smooth, flowing, captivating.  You can feel the Spirit of God just watching her.

 

I wanted to bring those same feelings to the people at Saint Joseph Hospital.

 

I contacted my friend and asked her to teach me “His Hands” in sign language.  She was an excellent teacher, patient, funny, inspirational.  I practiced and practiced and practiced, especially to make my hands move as smoothly as hers.

 

At last it was time.  I asked her if she would like to perform it with me.  She brought her CD and we performed the song in sign language.  I was the amateur, she the professional.  My moves were simpler, mostly the main words.  Hers were more sure and included most of the words.  It was beautiful!  We were able to help those present feel the Spirit of God.

 

That was 3 years ago.

 

Since then, we have been asked to return every year for Saint Joseph Day.  This year I found someone to sing the song for us.  She also played the guitar!  What a wonderful addition to our performance!  And this year we were invited to perform throughout the hospital.  Can there be anything better than that?  Wandering minstrels, roving from floor to floor, sharing this beautiful message with patients, families, and staff alike.

 

Here are the words for your enjoyment:

 

“His hands, tools of creation,
stronger than nations, power without end.
And yet through them, we find our truest friend.
His hands, sermons of kindness,
healing men’s blindness,
halting years of pain.
Children waiting to be held again.

His hands would serve His whole life through,
Showing man what hands might do,
giving, ever giving endlessly.
Each day was filled with selflessness,
and I’ll not rest ’til I make up my hands what they could be,
’til these hands become like those from Galilee.

His hands, lifting a leper,
warming a beggar, calling back the dead,
breaking bread, five thousand fed.
His hands, hushing contention,
pointing to heaven, ever free of sin,
then bidding man to follow Him.

His hands would serve His whole life through,

Showing man what hands might do,
giving, ever giving endlessly.
Each day was filled with selflessness,
and I’ll not rest ’til I make up my hands what they could be,
’til these hands become like those from Galilee.
His hands, clasped in agony,
as He lay pleading, bleeding in the garden
while just moments away other hands betray Him,
out of greed, shameful greed
and then His hands are trembling,
straining to carry the beam that they’ve been led to,
as He stumbles through the streets,
heading towards the hill on which He died.
He would die.
They take His hands, His mighty hands, those gentle hands,
and then they pierce them, they pierce them,
He lets them because of love.
From birth to death was selflessness
and clearly now I see Him with His hands calling to me.
And though I’m not yet as I would be,
He has shown me how I could be.
I will make my hands like those from Galilee.
There is another beautiful song in sign language by Paul McCartney entitled “My Valentine”.  It is performed by Natalie Portman:

 

Paul McCartney’s My Valentine  full URL if needed: http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Paul+McCartney+My+Valentine+Lyrics+portman&view=detail&mid=ECBF05155070E9830903ECBF05155070E9830903&first=0&FORM=NVPFVR.