While putting up our outdoor Christmas decorations last week, I noticed that the Joseph in our Nativity was not lighting up. It didn’t bother me too much. I thought, “Well, he only has a supporting role in the scene anyway. The important ones are illuminated.” With it being such an incredibly busy time of year, and since I was already late in setting up the Nativity, I didn’t think anything more about it.
The next two nights as I drove up to the house and beheld the unbalanced scene, it began to bother me more and more. Certainly, Christ is the central figure and I am not disputing that, but I began to reconsider the part of Joseph in the Christmas story.
Perhaps it was fitting that his light was dim. In scripture, we only learn a few facts about him.
Matt 1:18-25 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: 23 "Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel" (which means, God with us). 24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus. -ESV
Perhaps it is what we don’t read that is meaningful. Joseph allowed his entire life and world to be “interrupted” by God’s plan. He took the counsel of God’s messenger and protected and raised God’s son as his own, even when this meant uprooting his entire life.
We may infer that he did not seek the limelight, but was one of the quiet, strong, stable (pardon the pun) figures that Jesus not only came to save, but that Jesus submitted to as His earthly caregiver. (Luke 2:50) Let that sink in…
I drove to the store and bought a new bulb for my Joseph…now, ironically, he is the brightest in our Nativity Set, and I kind of like it that way. After all, God shines a spotlight on the meek and humble.
Have a blessed Christmas!
Loving you all,