Foster Father Joseph

The earthly father of Jesus was a quiet Jewish carpenter.

Well, that’s the assumption anyway, because Joseph never utters a word in Scripture. Yet, he was a member of the Holy Family.

This image came from a Christmas card I received a few years ago. I loved the artwork so much that I laminated it. (And badly too. I’m sorry, it’s off-center. As my DIY friends know, I missed the art gene by a mile.)

This interpretation of Mary and Joseph really touched me. They are so full of joy while adoring their Savior Son together. But what really jumped out at me was the focus on the relationship between Jesus and his foster father.

At Christmastime, attention is given to Mary, the mother of Jesus, and that's a good thing. But sometimes Joseph gets a little lost in the shuffle. He is often seen in the background of paintings, watching over his wife and son. But not in this image.

The delighted smile on the infants face glows and illuminates the whole room. And doesn’t it look like both Mary and Joseph are covered in the holy light? The faces of Jesus' parents are turning a warm reddish glow, bathed in the glory of their son.

Jesus’ gaze is solely on his foster father. It almost looks like they're sharing an inside joke, as an amused Mary looks on.

To me, this little snapshot represents the instant Joseph fell in love with his infant son. Yes, he loved this child before he was born, as all parents-to-be do. But what can prepare anyone for the first time you hold your child? The love that floods and spills over is filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. Here, not only is there the presence of God in parental love, but also in flesh and blood; the Christ Child. What a moving moment this must have been.

As a former foster parent, I can really relate to the wonder that Joseph must be feeling. This child, conceived by a miracle and born into poverty, is presented to him as his child. What a wondrous, baffling and miraculous event.

But for Joseph, all questions are buried under the avalanche created by the love between a father and a child. Any hesitation evaporates in the presence of Love Incarnate. All that matters now, is the small life entrusted to him, and the well-being of his wife.

Joseph stands here in the place of God the Father. It makes sense that he would be imbued with some of the attributes of the greatest Father of all.

And our heavenly Father is wisdom. As St. James says; “the wisdom that comes down from above is essentially something pure; it also makes for peace and is kindly and considerate.” (James 3:17)

In this scene, I see those qualities in Joseph. God insured that his Son was in the best hands on earth. The strong hands of his servant, Joseph.

Prayer Request: 

Roxy, who blogs at Living From Glory to Glory, has asked for prayers for a one month old little girl named Kalea. She has a Vitamin K deficiency which has had very dire medical consequences.
You can use the link provided to her blog to read more about it.

Your prayers are so precious, and so needed. Please take a moment to ask the Lord for healing for Kalea.

Thank you.

Linking today with: Three Word Wednesday