As I get older, Christmas continues to take on new meanings each year. As cheesy as it sounds, Christmas is more about family, friends, and remembering Jesus’ birth than it is about presents and silly tacky Christmas parties. Each year, it seems as though a new element of the story of Christ’s birth stands out to me. This year, my heart has been fixated on Joseph’s role in the story. I feel like due credit is given to Mary for her role in the story (every bit deserved), but Joseph is often the forgotten man that simply stands in the background. The following account is entirely fictional, but possibly not too farfetched account from Joseph’s journal on the night that Jesus was born.
I barely have the strength to move my quill, but I know that I need to write down my thoughts before I forget them during the upcoming chaos. Words cannot describe the whirlwind of emotions that I am feeling, but I will try my best.
I am exhausted. I don’t remember the last time I slept.
I am scared. How will we raise this child?
I am paranoid. Everyone will soon try to kill my son.
I am concerned what others think. I can hear them whispering as we pass by.
I am ecstatic. My heart has never felt joy as strong as when I held my child for the first time.
I am a father. I don’t know what I’m doing, but I will love this child more than anything.
I am the earthly father of the Son of God. Did I really just write that? Can it possibly be true? God, why did you chose me? You know that I have no extraordinary qualities. I’m flattered, but couldn’t you have found someone more worthy than me?
Everything smells of manure and animal feed. The baby has rightfully been given the cleanest robes and the freshest water, but I would love to bathe or have a clean set of clothes too. The dirt caked to my feet is seeming like it might never come off and my sandals are worn through. The blood on my robes from assisting in the birth will likely never come out, and it might act as a beautiful yet painful reminder from this historic night. I am starving. We had to make sure that Mary received plenty of food, which left scarce amounts for the rest of us. The slop that the animals eat is looking more appealing by the minute.
There are so many people that want to see my son. Already, there have been several shepherds and “wise men”. Their intentions seem pure, but I can’t trust anyone around my precious son. I won’t sleep while they are awake because too many people want to kill my baby. I don’t know who I can trust at this point. I know you will watch over him God, but I have to do my part as an earthly father to protect him. My instincts will be to shelter him from everyone to protect, but I know that you have greater plans for Him. I pray that you will open my heart to see what you have planned for Him.
I am sick of the persecution that I have received thus far, and I know that it will not go away. Everyone says that I am crazy. Everyone says that it is impossible to get pregnant without having sex. Everyone says that the love of my life is a slut. I keep telling myself that what everyone else says doesn’t matter God, but sometimes it gets to me. Why couldn’t you have just given us Jesus through a normal birth after we were married? Wouldn’t that have made life easier on everyone. I try not to doubt you, but I just struggle to see why you have planned it this way.
What’s next God? How am I supposed to raise the son of God? Other than providing him with the essentials needed to survive, will I be needed as a father? What do I possibly have to teach the physical embodiment of God? How will I know where to take him? Am I to discipline Him if he is ever worthy of discipline? I have so many questions for you God.
Although I have felt all of the fear, doubt, persecution, and judgment over the past several months, everything was worth it when I was able to grasp him in my arms. He is perfect. His is helpless, yet all-powerful at the same time. I didn’t know my heart was capable of feeling these emotions, especially for a child that isn’t technically from my flesh. God, I thank you for this miraculous gift. I pray that you will help remind me that He is indeed a gift from you, and that each day is precious.
My eyes are dreary and everyone else seems to be asleep. I guess it’d be best for me to try and get some as well. We have many long days ahead and I’ll need my strength to support Mary and my Son. I love you God. Please protect us all.