Christmas was coming, and my heart was full of joy. Setting up the creche each year always brings a special happiness as I celebrate the birth of the Savior. This year though something was different; a figure was missing. I could not find Joseph anywhere. Where could he be? I searched high and low and in between till finally I found him, fallen down in the dark recesses behind the table. When I placed his figure beside the manger, the tableau was now complete.
I began to reflect on the importance of Joseph in the life of our Lord as it is revealed in the Scriptures. God honored him to let him be the earthly father to His own Son. He must have had great confidence that Joseph would care for Jesus and would train Him in the way He should go.
I imagine that Joseph might not have chosen his role in life. Though he did not plan to marry a young woman already pregnant, Joseph was obedient to God's will for him as revealed by an angel. He protected Jesus, he presented Him for consecration, and he took Him to the temple for instruction. Along with Mary, Joseph marveled at what was said about Jesus.
While Joseph does not hold the place of honor among men equal to that of Mary, he is an example to all of the importance of filling the place God has chosen for us. We must be open to the leading of the Lord to make complete the tableau of our lives. It is good to know that if we fall into dark recesses, God will lift us up and put us where we should be. My prayer is to be, like Joseph, obedient to God's will.
Verna Cole Mitchell is a wife, mother, grandmother, and retired teacher, who is so grateful to God for all his blessings. Her desire is to honor God with her life and with her words.