The tall carpenter stood in the stable, looking down at the tiny newborn baby in his arms. Mary, his wife, lay exhausted on the pile of straw beside him. He loved her so much, didn’t think they’d have make it. Especially with everywhere full and Mary in labour. He’d never tell anyone how scared he was the last few hours. And as for delivering the baby himself...
He shuddered. He’d done it, but never again. He sat down slowly, the babe still sleeping peacefully in his arms. The angel said this babe was the son of God. It wasn’t his flesh and blood he knew that. He’d known for months. He’d been ready to divorce Mary, furious that she’d cheated on him, but the angel had set him right on that score. His faith and love for the woman nest to him wasn’t misplaced or in vain.
He stroked the babe’s cheek. “I will protect you, love you, raise you as much as any children I may have in the future with your mother.” He took a deep breath. “Lord, where do I, a mere carpenter, fit into this plan You have? I’m a man...how can I be a father to the Son of God? I know nothing about children or raising them? Surely a rabbi would have been a better choice. I don’t even know the scriptures as much as some men.”
The babe began to cry and he rocked him gently. “Shhh, my son. Let mamma sleep a little longer. She had a hard time birthing you.” For an instant it seemed all the light went from the room, then as the crying lessened the light returned.
Mary stirred. “Joseph...is he okay?”
He smoothed Mary’s hair from her face. “He’s fine, he’s gone back to sleep. Rest, my love, I’ve got him.”
Mary smiled. “You’re a good father. We don’t deserve you. Any other man would have cast us out.”
He kissed her forehead. “You’re my wife and he’s my son. That’s what matters.”
“God sent you to me Joseph,” she whispered. “He wanted you to raise His son here on Earth.”
He looked down at the baby. “A son of my love,” he whispered. “Lord, help us protect your son and help him fulfil his destiny.”