Joseph. The betrothed of Mary. The step dad of Jesus. The man who chose to follow God and his heart. Joseph the carpenter. The man who walked miles leading a small donkey and caring for his very pregnant wife. This man showed such faith.
When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.
Tomorrow is Christmas Eve. We are thinking of the Christ child. We are thinking of His mother Mary. We are thinking of the stable, shepherds and the manger. What about Joseph?
New Dad's know this - new babies are frightening! They are so small, they need their Mama for their very life. They are also so amazing. New Dad's know this - every Dad looks for his face in the face of his newborn child. Who did Joseph see when he looked down upon his first child? The child not of his body but from God? Did he wonder how he was going to teach this baby how to be a man? Was he looking for God in his eyes?
Joseph never got to see his wife's first born fulfill His promise. But that promise was fulfilled because of the father he was! God could have chosen a king, a merchant, an artist, a priestly family but he chose a carpenter from a small town.
Carpenters know the value of the work of their hands. Didn't Jesus in His Ministry use his hands so much? With such care and love? Carpenters know how important it is to make all things work together, visible and invisible, to create a solid whole. Didn't Jesus minister to what was easily seen (disease) and what was invisible (the heart)?
Carpenters know about where things come from, they respect the tree that gives them the wood. They value their tools. They craft with their hands, they know intimately what they are creating.
God knows each hair of our heads. Each sparrow's wing beat is heard. Who better than a carpenter to raise His son in His human form?
Joseph helped Mary deliver their baby. His calloused hands lovingly wrapped that child, and held him close. He looked into the face of a miracle, and I wonder if God whispered into his heart right then and promised him the tools he'd need for this job? I'm sure He did!
In his hands God put the baby Jesus. In the hands of a carpenter Jesus took His first human breath. I find it so fitting to think of Joseph today. He has done all he can for his beloved Mary. He knows good craftsmanship and this stable is well built. Built with love. The animals are cared for. The hay clean and fresh smelling.
Breathe it in. Breathe in those moments before Jesus came into the world.
Angels held their breath.
Shepherds listened for the song.
Wisemen walked following His star.
A young father, his dreams forever changed, watches in awe at what God has wrought and he knows it is so very good. He holds Mary tight, and helps wipe the baby clean. The three of them rest.
You've done your rushing. I pray you are done and ready to rest. Rest with us and consider the tasks ahead of this young couple. Rest with us and consider the miracle that was wrought that night.