Monday, December 16, 2013

Who would you want to talk to?

A few days ago Kelly Gray posted a question on her blog's facebook page, Then I Thought of Home - Kelly Gray, that's given me the opportunity to do some thinking.  She does things like that!  And sometimes I just have to write out my thoughts.  Her question:  "If you could spend time talking with anyone from the Christmas story, anyone other than Jesus because it's a given we would all chose Him, who would you chose? The Brave Mary or protective Joseph, the angels on High, the Inn Keeper, the Wise Men, the shepherds, Gabriel or maybe even find someone who isn't even mentioned in the story. Somebody who was watching from afar... Who would you want to talk to?"

All of the responses I read were from folks who wanted the chance to sit down for some one on one time with Mary.  They wanted to share the experience of motherhood and to know what she knew and how she found the courage to do what she did.  And I admit those are questions I would love to be able to ask her, too.

But if I could only choose one person from the Nativity to have a conversation with...

I'd choose Joseph.

I wrote a little about many of the characters in this post from December 2009.

Then I said about Joseph:  "In Joseph we find an example of a kind and tender man who agreed to raise a child not his own by going forward in marriage to an already pregnant young woman. He faithfully plays a quiet background role. In him, we glimpse into the heart of men who we might call unsung heroes who do their best to live an acceptable life and give meaningful service to those they love but do not seek the notice and praise of the world."

Walking With God by Morgan Weistling

I think we overlook Joseph because there's so very little said about him.  And I kind of think that's the way he'd want it to be even though there is so much to learn from him and the way he chose to conduct himself and his business.  He was engaged to Mary before she conceived Jesus.  He thought he was marrying a virgin bride - that whole virgin thing was a big deal back then.  Not to downplay or poke fun at anyone's modesty or choice of abstinence now... just pointing out that now it's a choice, then it was punishable by death for a woman to be so "unclean."  When Joseph found out that Mary was pregnant he would have been perfectly justified under the law and social norms of his day to demand that she be stoned to death at the city gate.  Yet the scriptures tell us that he sought to have her put away quietly.

Imagine Joseph, his heart broken from thinking she'd found another that she loved enough to give herself to despite the arrangement her family had entered into with him, asking to break the engagement quietly and not draw attention to her condition.  When my feelings are hurt how to be kind is not often the first thought that pops in my mind.  To always react with love is a big lesson I can learn from Joseph's example.

And then the Angel came to him... I'd love to know more about that conversation!  What did Joseph learn that convinced him to move forward with the marriage?  And I have all the same questions for him, that so many would like to ask Mary.  What did you know about Him?  How did you find the courage to step-father the very Son of God?  What did you teach Him?  What did He teach you in the quiet moments you shared simply being father and son?

In this song, I love all the layers of meaning that might be found in the line "I was not His father... He was mine!"

Joseph's Song from The Forgotten Carols
written and performed by Michael McLean

Yes, I'd dearly love to meet Joseph and talk with him for hours about Jesus and the greatest truths he'd ever known!


Unknown said...

Beautiful! Merry Christmas!! Love xo

Kathy Burton said...

Thank you so much! And Merry Christmas to you, too!!