Called to Be a Dad
How did Joseph feel? One can only imagine. He must have loved Mary very much. Even though he believed she had betrayed him, he could not bring himself to disgrace her … or to allow her to be stoned for her sin. What a relief when the angel came to say Mary was a good girl after all … chosen by God, even!
The angel said, “You are to name the child Jesus, because he will save the people from their sins.” Joseph had heard the prophecy that the Messiah would come to save the people from their enemies. What was the angel talking about? Thirty years later, Jesus would tell us that sin is the enemy.
So, reassured, Joseph took Mary as his wife. Did the old women of the town count on their fingers? Did they gossip that Joseph had either acted irresponsibly or been made the fool?
If they did, I don’t think Joseph paid them any mind. His Mary was chosen. This made him love her even more. He was told to not take her as his wife until after the child was born. Not an easy thing to do. But it afforded the young couple time to establish a different kind of relationship. Their marriage was not based on Joseph pursuing the quest of every Jewish man to produce a son … and Mary doing her best to please her husband in every way. It was grounded in a common task God had given each of them to do.
And then, when Mary was due any minute, they had to travel to Bethlehem. Joseph must have delivered the child himself (no midwife is mentioned). He was frightened and Mary was brave. As most new fathers are, he was awestruck at the miracle of birth, proud of Mary and determined to never fail his family or his God.
Yes, Joseph was a very special person. He was chosen as surely as Mary was to fulfill a special place in history. Barely considered at times, yet he played an integral part in the Plan.
As each of us do. Whatever God is calling us to do is part of the Plan. Maybe we are to stand in the background, be supportive, ask no questions, make no waves, put aside our pride and take no thought of what others think of our call. And always, always trust God even when the situation seems impossible.
Background reading Matthew 1:18-25