Joseph was given a dream.
That’s all. Just a dream.
Mary had a bloomin’ angel bust into her house to give her the news. But all Joseph received, was what could have easily been attributed to one too many glasses of smashed up fermented grapes before beddie-bye.
Joseph had to live his whole life wondering if that dream was a truth or not. If his “Son” was the result of the Lord’s plan, or just one ill-advised and possibly regretted interlude.
Mary has been honored ever since.
Given top billing right next to her Boy, in fact. Prayed to no less, by many who seem to think that J.C. made this an option, somewhere along the line within his three years of tutorials. It seems odd, given what little faith was needed on her part, especially considering the fact that she knew she hadn’t done anything, and again, there was that bloomin’ angel, standing smack-dab in the middle of her living room.
Well, poor old Joe wasn’t even remembered by the Gospel writers. Nope, right after his part was played, he was unceremoniously escorted off the stage, never to be heard from again. We can assume he died – most do seem to go that way. But if he did while Jesus still breathed, we never even get to hear about his “Son’s” reaction. And if Jesus was the first to go, then Joseph’s tears and anguish were never written down for posterity.
Again, Mary rocks it within the gospels, right through to the bitter end. But Joseph is left forgotten. Ignored. And maybe even with his final breath, still wondering if the angel’s message was really just after all, only a stupid dream.
I’ve always had an affinity for Joseph.
Not only because we share the joy of fatherhood, but because I too have quite often felt – incorrectly or not – ignored in the whole scheme of things. Forgotten. Yes, even by J.C. As a result, for many years I’ve waved the Joseph flag to anyone who asked, simply because I felt that he needed to be defended.
I was wrong in thinking that of course. Joseph needs no more defending than his “Son” does. Joseph needs no adulation, similar to that being provided Mary by her cult, either. No, I believe that Joseph is just all right with the way things went.
Joseph – whether he truly believed the dream or not – chose to tell the angel that appeared in it that he would. Joseph – even if he was in the final analysis, history’s most gullible man – voluntarily put his life at risk then, and several times afterwards. All while defending a wife and a “Son” who weren’t truly his, just for his chosen belief, which truly was.
Again, we’ve no idea what sort of lessons Joseph imparted upon Jesus, nor how much of the Son of Man’s personality was weaned from the man who chose to believe in the Son enough, as to sacrifice his life for Mary and He. But when my children offer me the mantle of “Best Dad In The World,” I’m quick to remind them that – while I am honored – I feel that it’s actually Joseph who deserves that title. The man who gave all for his charges, and was then all but forgotten by the very ones who benefitted most from his sacrifice of ensuring that the “Son” (possibly of just a man), could live long enough to become the Son of Man.
Joseph was given a dream.
And he chose to believe that dream – to believe in those who were part of it. That’s a sort of faith that is stronger than reason, and that’s the sort of man I currently struggle to be. For my sons, my daughter, my friends, and for me.
* My gratitude and appreciation to Rev. Ellen Brauza, who’s insight and wisdom served as the inspiration that finally allowed me to put down into somewhat coherent sentences the above trail of thought.
I like you choose to honour the less visible. Perhaps the lesson here is no one should be forgotten or assigned undue importance. Unfortunately, much of our world’s religion totally ignores women, assigns us secondary roles that always point to some superior male, the ultimate representation of patriarchy. It’s why I ultimately had to walk away.
In the end, belief is shaped in different ways, sort of an interface to whatever lays beyond this universe. We go with frameworks we can understand, and (as Dar Williams sings) that is where I rest my head tonight.
Very true Nelle, and while belief may be shaped, I feel that in the final analysis, yours is uniquely yours to own. Whether you took the time to review, investigate and make up your own mind, or whether you simply “rode” with the beliefs you were born with. Like you, I feel the former is much more worthwhile.
Merry Christmas to you as well, dear =)
And a Merry Christmas to you!
very nice t. merry christmas.
Thanks Kat, and a wondrous new year to you my friend =)
One thing we do know is that Joseph taught his “son” his trade. Which is another great thing – he could have taken the angel-dream way out the other side, too, and said “No, son, you’re something special, you’re made for more than just putting roofs on houses. Go out there and be special, carpentry is not for you!” But he didn’t. He just did what every father did in those days. He was ordinary – which is part of the whole message, isn’t it? Jesus was an ordinary human. And his ordinary father played a big part in that.
Amen Amo, amen! Thanks for adding that element into the tale.
happy new year T!
Happy new year to you as well, my dear sweet Ria =)
How have you been T?