Thursday, December 1, 2011

"You remember him, he's Joey's boy..."

"Lord, I ask that He,
for just this moment,
simply be my child..."

The December wind whipped and swirled around my ankles, as I made my way down the cobbled sidewalk. My destination, the soft golden light that beckoned from just beyond the steamy casement windows set deep within the tall brick building.  I was all too eager to reach the door of the bakery, where a small bell announced my arrival, and the sweet, warm, succulent perfume of rising dough, cinnamon sugar, and vanilla greeted me with promise. 

It didn't take long for me to find the perfect table, position my tea and toast just the right reaching-distance above my books, and lean into the sounds and scents of the morning.  A neighborhood "regular" stood at the counter, coffee mug in hand, proudly introducing his grandson to an old friend.  "You remember him, he's Joey's boy..."   It got me thinking about another Joe, and my friend Kim's Christmas post about him, and his son:

"Celebrating Joseph..."

Kim Crooks Korinek

I've been doing a deep dive into the nativity story, my interest being piqued by the movie of that same name, popular some years ago. Prior to this, I don't know that I gave Joseph too much thought. The movie helped me see how crucial his role was as the meek and steadfast protector not only to the expectant Mary, as a birth partner, as a new father; but to a world hungry for hope. It's those qualities of thought that I want to nurture in myself -- they are crucial to our own ushering in of the Christ to our consciousness.

There was an article written in the Christian Science Journal (December 2002) that discussed his character in more detail. (These notes are taken from csdirectory's Bible Study resources). It says of Joseph's role:

"It couldn't have been easy finding out that the woman he was about to marry was mysteriously 'with child.' But he stood by Mary with unquestioning fidelity, perhaps realizing how crucial he would be to the fulfilling of Bible prophecy....

And this is the wonder of Joseph's fidelity: that nearly all he did to nurture/defend the special mother and child entrusted to his care had to be done just this way: in secret, in the humblest of circumstances, and totally without public recognition."

The other wonder about Joseph is how immediate was his recognition and acceptance to the messages of the angel Gabriel. No questions, arguments, or excuses.

It is interesting to remember Jesus' comments about his relationship to God who, at one point referred to God as "Abba" a Hebrew term of endearment meaning the equivalent of "daddy". It makes me wonder if it was Joseph's tenderness and closeness to Jesus that made it easy for Jesus to feel God's tenderness and closeness.

So today, I am grateful for all those 'Josephs' in my life: men and women and children whose meekness, alertness and guardianship of all that is good have led me to see more of the Christ in my life and in others.

copyright Kim Crooks Korinek  2007

I hope you enjoy this recording of "Joseph's Lullaby" by Mercy Me.

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