Voices of Christmas - Joseph

I have imagined the reactions and thought processes of those people involved in the Christmas narrative,

I hope that it will assist your meditations on these events with fresh thoughts.

‘Confused’ is not the word - it was much more than that!

I was desperately in love with a girl called Mary – she was such a good looking young woman. The overwhelming desire for me to marry her was her devotion to God, which was was something that every man would look for in a potential wife.

Our lives were turned upside down when she said that she had encountered the angel Gabriel, who had informed her that she would carry God’s Son who was going to be born on earth.

I was not quite so sure, as I thought that there were grounds for separation because she had been unfaithful to me. Just as I was going to part the waves with her, I had a dream when God told me that, indeed, Mary was carrying God’s Son in her womb. Well, I was astounded – it was like I was finally let into the secret. I was willing to take the scorn and derision that was directed at this wonderful women, who had been selected by God for this mission.

When the time was drawing close for the baby to be born, we set off to Bethlehem because both of our families were descended from King David, so the Roman authorities had directed that we were to go there for census purposes.

When we arrived after four long days, we went looking for accommodation but there was nothing available in the sleeping areas. One of our relatives kindly offered us the space where the animals slept for the night.

It was in the middle of the hay and straw that Mary gave birth to a baby boy, the precious Son of God.

Well, I wasn’t prepared for what happened next – certainly not for the number of visitors that we were going to have.

The first crowd to arrive were the shepherd from the nearby hills. I thought that they might be smelly, but it was impossible to tell as we were among all of the animals ourselves. They were really excited as they talked about angels appearing to the them to tell them about God being born in the city. When they left us, I could still hear them telling the neighbours loudly what had happened.

The next group couldn’t have been more different – intelligent and cultured. They were wise men that had come from a long distance. They bought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, which I though were weird until we needed them as we were later forced into exile. The wise men also had a dream – it seemed to be a regular occurrence! – that they were to go home in a different direction as King Herod wanted them to return to him so he would know where we were.

When they had gone, I had another dream from God, telling me to take Mary and the baby Jesus to Egypt as Herod was wanting to murder the infant because Jesus represented a threat to his kingship.

I obeyed immediately – after all, when God speaks, you act. We got our goods together and, in the middle of the night, we set off to the foreign land, knowing that God would guide and guard us.

Points to ponder:
·        How do your actions show God working in your life?
·        What does obedience to God look like in your life?
·        What aspects of Joseph’s would you like to emulate?