Read Matthew Chapters 1-3, go on I dare you. And try and look for the following; Angels appearing to Mary, Donkeys, John the Baptist, Zachariah, they’re not there – is that particularly surprising, well possibly not. But look a little closer to see what, or more pertinently who is;
Joseph, the forgotten Hero;
Joseph who was going to marry a girl called Mary
Joseph whose plans to marry Mary are disrupted, interrupted by an unexpected pregnancy
Joseph, the good man.
Joseph did not want to disgrace her, wanted Mary to have a future
Joseph heard the voice of the angel
Joseph who obeyed the voice of the angel
Joseph who married Mary, whilst she was pregnant, gave her security and hope.
Joseph who showed integrity
Joseph, who named the boy Jesus.
Joseph who listened to the voice of another angel , working under instruction to protect his family and this boy of 2.
Joseph the forgotten hero of the story of a man protecting his new wife, his new baby, protecting the dawning of a new age and new reality in the world.
Forgotten, as Mary takes the best lines and parts in the nativity, forgotten as there are so many other males to compete with as Heros in the Bible, Forgotten even when the Kings turn up (where has he gone in those verses?)
Forgotten as the action turns to Jesus (after Johns proclamation), forgotten as God the Father begets Christologically, so Joseph it but a bit part in the conception, but a surrogate father who protects the family none the less.
Yes, the story is about Mary, and its about the coming of the Messiah, but that’s the point, Joseph is the forgotten Hero for this short space of time. The faithful, loyal carpenter who acted with integrity, in conjunction with angelic voices to protect, to star in the beginning of this story, to allow for Mary, and Jesus to shine.