I’m having a hard time moving on from Christmas. The holiday is a favorite time of the year, and the Christmas story is so fascinating. Today I was thinking about Joseph. The story surrounding him is pretty short and simple, but what we can speculate can go on forever; correct or incorrect.
One of the things I surmise is that as Mary was chosen so was Joseph. In other words, it wasn’t that Mary was chosen to be the mother of Jesus and Joseph just happened to be engaged to her, but rather that Mary and Joseph were chosen to be the parents. As Mary had found favor with the Lord, so had Joseph. Just as Mary had met whatever requirements were necessary and had somehow lived up to the qualifications, so had Joseph. And some would argue that it was all grace and not necessarily Mary or Joseph’s character, but even so Joseph is a key player and was woven into the fabric of the story.
When we look at the little we know about him, we see only good; a just man not wanting to humiliate Mary for her “condition”. But when we look at his situation we see a lot of stress; not only marrying a pregnant woman, not only the census, the flight to Egypt, the return to Nazareth to avoid Archelaus, but the untold story of his life and death during the life of Jesus.
Too often I think it should be easy. I mean shouldn’t Mary and Joseph had it easy considering their circumstances and being the parents of the Son of God? That’s my feeling. But of course I say this wanting the same thing for myself. If I do good shouldn’t God make life easy for me? I want to be obedient and rewarded for it now. Even saying this reveals my immaturity and selfishness which disqualifies me- oh the paradox.
So here it is, from Joseph…
Mary and Joseph grew into their relationship of trust with God, they didn’t just arrive there.
There was a certain glory in the relationship they had with God and that brought them to the position of parenthood.
They were not protected from the stress of the experience.
The last is the problem. I want to grow to be like Joseph in my character, but I want the circumstances to be different. It is clear I am not finished growing yet.