Goodness knows the Bible women
get the limelight at Christmas time.
Elizabeth and Mary,
and even the innkeeper's wife...
"All is bright 'round yon virgin,"
"Mary pondered it in her heart..."
But Joseph's in the back of the scene,
anonymous figure with a staff
standing behind the donkey.
We don't acknowledge enough
the sacrifices he made,
the doubtful heart he stilled,
the tender courage he displayed.
The best crèche I ever witnessed,
Mary was sacked out cold
on the hay - exhausted new mother -
and Joseph was cradling the child.
We don't think about the years
that followed that Christmas night --
the arduous escape to Egypt,
life-saving visions in the night,
leading his family to the temple,
Joseph working the wood in his hands
while the young Jesus watched and learned.
There couldn't have been a Saviour
wrapped in swaddling clothes,
lifted upon the cross,
risen from the tomb,
without a Father first.