Manger Scene: Joseph
By J. Barrie Shepherd
Copyright 1979: The Christian Century
Oh yes, right here beside Mary.
I realize that:
Looking protective, paternal, and just a bit weary, leaning on the staff that holds the lantern.
But what I mean is, just where do I stand paternity-wise, if you catch my point?
The angel's message was, the child is God's, not mine, and not to worry.
All well and good for him to say, but I'm only a rough village carpenter not accustomed even to angels let alone the Son of God.
And what about Mary, my Mary, young, still innocent Mary?
The child has her open, trusting look -- I'm sure of that already.
Yet how will Mary be the mother of the Messiah, wipe the tears, and mend the bruises of the Key of David, Israel's hope?
“Not to worry”... I ask you!
Then where do I begin to explain to the authorities rich gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh? "Just how did you get your calloused hands on these, Joseph the carpenter?"
There's a good question to start not worrying about.
So where do I stand?
I guess where I began:
Right here, beside Mary, still protective, paternal, and just a bit worried, leaning on the Lord who sheds his holy light of love upon this scene, and far across our wintered world
this frigid night.