Open Letter to Joseph

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Dear Joseph,

It's Christmas time, which means the Christmas story. We focus on Mary, baby Jesus, the shepherds, angels and even the wise men. But who focuses on you? I do, because I’m in awe of how you teach me about obedience.

Let's remember together. Your wife turned up pregnant. You knew YOU didn't cause this "little" issue. She clearly cheated on you, right? The law said you could cut your losses so you made plans to quietly divorce her. Who could blame you if you did?

But God came to you in a dream and said the baby was conceived by the Holy Spirit and would save the world. He told you to marry her. A lesser man might have made excuses or weaseled out of it. People were going to talk and your reputation was going to go down the tubes. But you chose to obey. You trusted what must have seemed like crazy babble and kept this woman, Mary, and her son. Nothing was recorded about you arguing your case or hesitating to do what God told you to do. You simply obeyed. Only it wasn't so simple.

You and your pregnant wife, traveled about 90 miles on a donkey to obey the government and register for the census. I’m a mom and I know how we can be at nine months pregnant. I feel like that trip cost you something mentally and emotionally. And you willingly paid it.

And to "add fuel to the fire’, you had to let your wife deliver the baby in a manger, which is just fancy talk for a horse's feeding trough. I don’t think that’s how you planned to spend your day. But you did it because it was God’s plan.

Later, you entertained some shepherds, which wasn’t on your agenda. But God sent them and you received them. And eight days later you took the baby to be circumcised. God had told you to name Him Jesus. And even in this naming, you laid down your plans, hopes and dreams and picked up God's instead.

Who does that? You do. You did. And because of you, I know I can too. I am sincerely taught by your example.

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