Joseph: the Father Who Obeyed and Stayed
“Have you seen him?” I questioned my mother.
Her face scrunched up, hinting at her fatigue. Sweat glistened on her forehead, but she stopped, took a deep breath saying, “Who?” I knew she was trying to be patient.
“Joseph! Joseph is missing again!”
She sighed deeper. She knew my little brothers loved this hide-n-seek game, but she was busy.
I wanted our Nativity Set to be complete. Joseph was family. He needed to be found. Yes, Mary and Jesus were important…okay, maybe the most important, but I wanted a dad on the scene.
“Phil? Kenny? Did you boys hide Joseph?”
I stomped into the living room and plopped right on our sofa. As I squished into the cushions, something sharp jabbed me. YES! I’d found Joseph again! The daddy was back! I even told Joseph he was going home.
After all those years I always point out Joseph to our visitors.
If we scour the Word of God, we see that Joseph, the father of Jesus, was not relegated to a back seat, nor was he missing. He was engaged to a girl name Mary. I could imagine her eyes twinkling when she came into his presence. She was quite young and still at the age for giggling. Joseph, being a man of good character and very respected, strolled around with his shoulders squared saying “Yes that Mary is mine. She’s a fine and pure one. We will come together and have children to love.”
Soon, the news of her untimely pregnancy comes to public light.
Joseph looks into his beloved’s eyes, as he thinks of how to spare her the shame. He thinks divorcing her–breaking their engagement quietly–will be best. Yes he is sure of it, as he hugs her to return home. He tries not to remember the quaking of her body.
He, being a follower of the Law knew it would have been acceptable to handle it so.
During that night, Joseph bolts up in bed. Sweating from every pore, he wills his heart to slow down. An angel of the Lord appeared to him and told him that the child Mary conceived is from the Holy Spirit; a son, God’s son, Jesus, who will save God’s people from their sins.
When Joseph awoke, the Bible said, he did what the angel of the Lord commanded him to do.
He obeyed, when he could have left.
He stayed when he could have run, saying “Not mine!”
He laid down his “rights” and in humility said yes to God
Yes…He is a key player in Emmanuel’s saga.
He is an example of obedience and faith without 100% understanding and without all the answers.
Father God, I am so happy that You have placed ordinary folks, like Joseph, in the Bible. When we look his story, we realize that he was given a message with direction with no magic wand to help. He did what he needed to do, and chose to obey You, to stay with Mary and fulfill his role in Your story. We too, will find ourselves at our own crossroads time and again. As You gave Joseph the strength, help us to obey You too. By our example, may others be wooed into the Kingdom of Light.