Thursday, December 22, 2016

Reflections on Christmas: What Kind of Man would God Choose to be the Father of his Son

"Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother  Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.  

Recreation of a Nazareth Village like the one where Joseph lived.
Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to maker her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.

But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the lord appeared unto him in a dream saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife; for that which is conceive in her is of the Holy Ghost.

And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS ; for he shall save his people from  their sins....

Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife."

Liz Lemon Swindle's beautiful painting.
Joseph was no less valiant than Mary.  Imagine his feelings as he perceived that his love had been betrayed.  Imagine his heartbreak, his anguish at his shattered dreams.  Yet, at the angel's word he too showed complete and immediate obedience. 

 Don¹t you just marvel at the strength of his spirit, his trust, his faith.  We know so little of Joseph, but we imagine him gentle and kind, strong and protective. We know that he would have been equal to Mary in righteousness and spirituality.  What kind of man would God have chosen to raise his son?   Joseph would stand beside Mary.  He would teach and guide Jesus.  He would act as father. 

When Joseph went to Bethlehem                             
I think he took great care
To place his tools and close his shop and leave no shavings there.
He urged the donkey forward then, with Mary on its back,
And carried bread and goat cheese in a little linen sack.
I think there at the busy inn that he was meek and mild
And awed to be the guardian of Mary’s sacred child.
Perhaps all through the chilly hours he smoothed the swaddling bands,
And Jesus felt the quiet strength of Joseph’s gentle hands.
And close beside the manger bed, he dimmed the lantern’s light
And held the little Jesus close upon that holy night.

Children's Songbook, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 1989 p.38
Word by Marilyn Curtis White