Sunday, December 26, 2010

On the Second Day of Christmas...

Perhaps today Joseph finally slept.  Two nights before he had stayed awake worrying about and tending to his laboring wife.  He had cleaned out the manger and gathered fresh hay.  He had called for the midwives and stood by anxiously until he heard the baby's first cry, a holy sound for any new parent.

Yesterday he had spoken softly to curious visitors who, passing by pastures outside Bethlehem before dawn, had heard remarkable stories of angels and stars and saviors from shepherds keeping watch over their flocks.  To you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord...  Joseph gratefully accepted the few fish and olives and loaves of bread the innkeeper's wife had brought out, the skin of water she left beside the new mother, the clean swaddling clothes left by the midwives.  He carefully followed their instructions for easing Mary's discomfort and keeping the baby warm.  He watched as they slept, exhausted by the miracle of birth, the immeasurable miracle of that birth...

Last night Joseph had stayed awake, helping every few hours when the baby cried, singing lullabies he thought he had forgotten from his own childhood, wondering what lay ahead for his little family.  The angel hadn't said anything about how to be the adopted father of God.

Soon, all accounted for and assessed, most others would be leaving Bethlehem to return to their homes.  Perhaps they could move into the inn.  Until Mary could travel again, Joseph would be rooted here, back in the place where he had been born, where he, a newborn so long ago, had lain upon his own mother's breast as they slept, exhausted by the miracle of birth.  His father had stayed awake....

Today, Joseph finally slept, and perhaps his dreams were of good tidings and great joy, holiness and heavenly peace.  Before long, his rest would grow fitful and he would dream of kings bearing both gifts and grief... But today, Joseph slept.


Today we wore our pajamas all day long in his honor.

1 comment:

mississippi artist said...

I love a pajama day! From now on they will be a Joseph pajama day! Hope you guys had a wonderful Christmas.