There are many Christmas songs and stories about Mary and Jesus. But what about Joseph – what did he go through? How did his situation challenge his love and trust in Mary and in God, and cause a deep look inside himself?
Imagine this story….
Joseph returns from a day at work, building a neighbor’s barn. He visits Mary’s home.
“Mary, I’m here.”
“Joseph, I’m in the kitchen. Come I have news to tell you!”
Dusting himself off, Joseph ambles into the kitchen. He sees that Mary is glowing.
“What is it my love?”
“I have wondrous news. I’m going to have a baby!” she exclaims.
Dumbfounded, Joseph halts. “But, Mary how is this possible?”
“The angels came and visited. They told me how I was to have the son of God,” Mary happily blurts out.
Joseph feels his blood rising. His anger growing. “Really? Angels? Seriously, Mary what do you expect me to believe. I want to know who did this to you.”
Pleading Mary grabs his hands, “No it is as I said. I was visited and …”
Throwing her hands down, Joseph retorts, “ You think me a fool! What will everyone think. I can not go through with this. You having the child of another man!”
Weeping, Mary again pleads, “Believe me. It is the will of God.”
“Bull!” yells Joseph, “How can I believe you. We all know how babies are made,” he says in sharp accusation.
Mary is now desperate. “Joseph, you know how much I love and trust you. You also know how much I love and trust God. If I say, I trust that this is God’s child for me … for us to love… do you not see it in my heart? Do you not find it in your heart to trust and love God’s child too? Do you not trust and believe me?”
Joseph hesitates. Stops. Closes his eyes and takes several breaths in frustration. He opens his eyes to look at the love of his life and searches within himself. He finds an overwhelming sense of emotion welling inside. For all the world, he does love and trust his Mary. If she says it is so, shouldn’t he believe her?
A weighty decision comes. Yes, he accepts what she says. Yes, he trusts his Mary … and he trusts his God. If God has chosen her to be the vessel of his coming, then God has entrusted him to love and care for Mary and his child in this world.
He, Joseph, must be the one whom the child will love and trust in his earthly upbringing. He, Joseph, must be the reflection of love and trust of his God to this child in guiding him. He, Joseph, must love and trust this child … as … a father … and in so doing will achieve what God trusts and loves in Joseph.
Joseph looks up at Mary. His eyes tear up in love for her and the child. Yes, he will accept this mission of love. He embraces her and reassures her of his unwavering love and trust.
A knock comes at the door. A soldier announces that all must travel to the towns of their birth to be counted. Joseph takes Mary’s hand and clutches it to his heart. Their eyes meet. Joseph lovingly smiles and nods. Their journey … their destiny … has begun.