Contributions

 

WHY ME?

 

I’m very very frightened of what I have been told,

Its alright for those angels so very brash and bold

Through me the Son of God will come, his birth will hold the key

I’ll run away, I’ll hide myself, this really cannot be!

 

Virgin Mary – that’s a laugh, is all that Joseph's said

He’s not himself, he cannot cope, his thoughts are full of dread

Stay my love, we have to cope, don’t leave me with this fear,

Together we can deal with this, alone I cannot bear.

 

I’ve been to see Elizabeth and her baby leapt within

We know to trust in you Lord, we know we’re free of sin

And Josephs been to see me, he’s most supportive now

We’ll deal with this together, if other folks allow.

 

 

No snide remarks , no nasty stares, everyone so kind

Now I feel all will be well, I’m blessed and in my mind

I know that soon my son, our son, your son will live a life

To bring Gods love upon us all and save us all from strife.
 


We’re travelling to Bethlehem a census to attend

My child, I know, will come tonight, bring on the journeys end

A comfy bed I long for, a quiet room to rent

Just Joseph, me and Jesus - the one who’s heaven sent.
                                                                                                               (Sandra Hornagold)

 

 

Make straight the way of the Lord

 

He knows a place,

longed for but unrecognised

by others:

a city filled with love

for God and neighbour.

 

The road is narrow,

potholed, muddy,

and cluttered by rocks.

The journey will be difficult,

unsuitable for VIPs.

His advice?

Our task is clear:

remove the rubbish,

realign the path,

and re-dress the surface!

But who wants to work

that hard?

Too idle for such labour,

I’d rather stay

just where I am!

                                                         Richard Y Ball

 

 

Where is my Angel?

            Husband to a pure, perfect tool of God;  Father to a pure, perfect part of God and me, Joseph a humble carpenter, flawed and above all human; what is my role? Where is my place? First Mary comes to me and tells  me of her vision, her visitation and I trust her, just as I trust the Lord but you cant help but doubt. Then she is pregnant and we haven’t gone beyond holding hands, whilst chaperoned. I don’t think until Mary missed her monthlies and the old woman confirmed it that I really believed deep down. It just seemed so fantastic, why us? Mary I can understand but that’s because I love her but me a father to God? Impossible.

            All I could do was draw her into my arms and honour my promise. Even my friends said to run, that she was tainted, that she must have cheated but no, I was good to my word to God and Mary. Don’t get me wrong, it was hard, when she started to show people could put the dates together so then the whispers started. I’d defiled her, no Mary had cheated, No she was raped, No she was a loose woman, on and on it went and through it all I shielded her. I took it all on my shoulders  and bore it in silence, even if I could talk  what would I say? Mary was a virgin when we married? She had been singled out by God to bear the Messiah? I bet they’d still be laughing today. Some of the more vile rumours made me want to defend her physically but that would have tainted all I was holding onto.

            Then he was born and to see Mary’s face, to hold little Jesus in my arms and I knew it was all worth it, that Mary was right, he truly was special. Now I’ve lost him, lost the Messiah, lost Mary’s virgin birth, heck I’ve lost my son. How could we leave him behind? Yes there were a lot of us and I just assumed he was playing with David,  the little boy his own age. It was so good to see him with a friend, such a serious boy, don’t get me wrong he has a sense of mischief like all lads his age but mostly he is talking to adults , asking question after question, soaking up the answers – it’s so hard to know what he’s thinking.

            I’ve been teaching him my trade, like everything it comes easy to him and he never makes the same mistake twice and already he is thinking of solutions that would never have come to me. Even when its something new he has this half distracted look on his face. I can’t describe it, its almost as if he is humouring me but try to catch him out and he can repeat word for word what I’ve said. Where the hell is he? We’ve been searching for hours now. Mary is frantic but won’t show it. Can you have too much faith?

            I love them both so much but there are times its easier with Jesus’ siblings. I don’t think its because they are biologically mine, he is just so different – not in a bad way – ask anyone to describe your dreamchild and Jesus fits the bill but trust me its hard to be his father. I could never tell Mary but I am almost glad he’s run off – of course I want to find him but now finally I can shout at him and then scoop him into my arms.

            We just need to find him first but there is hardly anywhere left to search – I’m sorry God but I’ve lost your son. Just how do you have that conversation? Just what is the punishment for mislaying the Messiah? Mary wants to go to search the Temple now. I said that was the first place we should look but No she knows best so as usual I just shrug and smile.

            And here he is. I want to scream at him, I want to shake him, can you manhandle God? Mary is furious but for a while I just stand there and listen to Jesus and the teachers. I look at Mary – the worry, the anger, the relief and finally the realisation I don’t need to wish for an Angel, I have two already.

 

 

The Man who said ‘Yes’

If Joseph have not said ‘Yes’,

would Mary have been stoned to death?

In his dream he saw the Angel,

the Angel who told him to say ‘Yes’.

 

Joseph a humble man looking forward to his wedding

to marrying the virgin, Mary

but on discovering she was with child,

becoming a man of faith who trusted and said ‘Yes’.

 

Yes to the enormity of raising God’s own child

Yes to being an ordinary man entrusted with God’s son

Yes to raising him

Yes to keeping him safe

Yes to cherishing him

Yes to chastising him

as if God’s own son would need it!

Yes to being the human father of the Messiah.

 

What a responsibility for an ordinary man;

not a middle class man with a secure job and good pay

but a man who worked hard as a carpenter

not always sure but trusting in his God and his generosity.

 

If Mary was chosen,  did Joseph feel chosen as well?

We do not know

but if Joseph had not said ‘Yes’,

where would we be now?