As hinted in yesterday’s post, today is all about Joseph. I think when it comes to Biblical Josephs and dreams, people normally think of the ‘Joseph of Andrew Lloyd Webber fame’: ie. the one with the technicolour dream coat.
However, the ‘Joseph of Mary and Joseph fame’, actually has more dreams that the coloured coat Joseph, at least in terms of what is recorded in the Biblical accounts.
Now, don’t get me wrong, as a woman I love talking about Mary at Christmas time. Fabulous songs like Mary did you know? really help bring to light what on earth it would have been like to be this young woman suddenly caught up in some tumultuous spiritual event.
However, I do think Joseph suffers from some neglect (as do all fathers of first time mums, right?). I don’t think this is particularly fair.
Because Joseph is a dude.
At the end of yesterday’s post, it was like a soap opera cliff hanger with Mary and Joseph looking like they were about to bust up.
However, just like all soap operas there’s got to be a reason to keep the couple together (and keep you watching for the sake for ratings). Yet, unlike soap operas, the plot twist comes from an instructional dream involving an angel of the Lord.
“Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit”
I’m still waiting to see that sort of thing happen on Home & Away or Neighbours.
At any rate, Joseph doesn’t ditch Mary, he marries her instead.
When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son.
How tumultuous for Joseph also, trying to get his head around everything and regain some control in his life. He suddenly finds himself married to a pregnant wife – pregnant to the Lord mind you (!!) – and clearly thinking he’d prefer not to interfere with that one in any way, shape or form.
He’s married, but that’s probably marriage with no benefits, for a while. Total dude.
Then of course there’s the clippity-clop to the town of David (Joseph’s ancestor), a visit from some shepherds and Magi, and then Joseph gets another dream:
And angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”
The song title, Go, Go, Go Joseph really should be for the New Testament Joseph, because this is what he does at this point with his wife and child. Then he does it again after the death of Herod the Great, thanks to yet another dream:
“Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.”
I just love the leadership and care this guy has for his wife and newborn child (who just happens to also be the Messiah). He’s such a model to all men in positions of great responsibility.
He follows the instructions he’s given to a T, in a day and age where Mary absolutely had to rely on him – and she could.
Joseph didn’t give birth to the Christ child (obviously). Yet he had such an important role to play to ensure that Jesus safely made it out of infancy without being from a busted up family or becoming a statistic in a massacre.
Joseph was a top bloke.
Yours in respect,