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Saint Joseph and the Donkey

As we sat down to our Christmas Eve feast tonight, it occurred to me that things are pretty good.  We’re all home, everyone is healthy, and it’s a pretty normal evening for us.  It could be a lot more difficult for us.

Imagine that you’re a simple tradesman, who’s been told to walk 80 miles to the city of your ancestors.  With you, you take your young, very pregnant wife.  Luckily, you have your trusty donkey, so she doesn’t have to walk the whole way.  Once you get there, there’s no place to stay, so you end up in someone’s stable.  Of course, after four or five days on the road, she goes into labor.

So now, you’re in a barn, with a young woman going through her first labor, and you’re alone.  Somehow, you get both her and the baby through the labor alive.  Then strangers start showing up, proclaiming the royalty and divinity of your son.  Then word gets to you that the king wants your son dead, and is willing to kill all the newborn male babies in Bethlehem to make that happen, so you gather up your family, load them on the donkey, and head for Egypt, leaving your carpentry business back in Nazareth behind for years.

And all you wanted was to go to Bethlehem, pay your taxes, fill out your census form, and go home.

So, as we celebrate the birth of Christ tonight, please remember Saint Joseph, the world’s most important step-dad.  Not all the heroes in the Bible killed thousands with the jawbone of an ass. 

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  1. Good point and Merry CHRISTmas…


  2. I tend to think about it from Mary’s point of view…but then again, I’m a woman, and I’ve been through pregnancy and labor. I’ve never considered poor Joseph. Talk about testicular fortitude that you just don’t often see today.


  3. Merry Christmas Daddy Bear


  4. Wonderful perspective. Merry Christmas DaddyBear.


  5. Frank the Wanderer

     /  December 25, 2013

    Great perspective. I’ve always thought David was a hero, and he is, but so is Joseph. Thanks for taking the time to remind us that those who aren’t powerful can also be great examples. Merry Christmas to you and yours from me.


  6. What a wonderful way of weaving that story, as old as Time. May you have a very Blessed Christmas.


  7. Thanks to everyone for the kind words. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.


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