When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took his wife but knew her not until she had birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.
I love Joseph. He’s a man of action. I can picture him waking up, all indecision gone, racing to the priest to have whatever needed to be completed finished to make Mary his wife. Can’t you imagine the conversation they had that first night together after they were married — Joseph excited about his vision; Mary excited about hers; feeling the life in her belly together; planning their future knowing they have a secret no one else knows.
And that secret would be the salvation of the world.
That secret would instill the faith he would need to protect the boy who was his son, yet wasn’t his son. It would fill him with amazement when 3 kings show up at their humble abode to give gifts to their son. It would conquer fear as they fled to Egypt, ahead of Herod’s swordsmen. It would make him crack a grim when he saw small glimpses of the Holy Spirit in his son. It would give him perspective when they thought they lost twelve year old Jesus when he stayed back in his real “Father’s house.”
Joseph lived with the tension of humanity and the super-natural.
As far as we know, God never spoke to Joseph again. Faithfully he executed everything he knew from that brief encounter with God. We know Joseph protected Jesus, fleeing with him to Egypt, and then creating for him a home in the midst of his own hometown when it might have been easier to go somewhere they were not known. Family heritage was important.
We know Joseph taught Jesus a trade, carpentry, even though he knew Jesus would be the Messiah. And we know that he died before Jesus died, probably before Jesus started his ministry, probably never seeing Jesus do miracles or hear his public teaching.
For years he was faithful to the vision, balancing the tensions, believing in a future.
Lord, help me to be faithful to the vision you have for my life. Help me to balance the tensions of mortality and immortality. Help me to be spiritual and physical at the same time. Amen.