I’m not a knick-nacky person. I don’t have bric-a-brac. I’m not a curio keeper.
That being said I do have several (5 or 6) nativities that I put out this time of year. And I noticed something as I was setting up the scenes this year. I have nearly no Josephs. Every creche that I have has a baby Jesus (naturally), they all have a Mary (almost always kneeling), they all have three wise men. Every one of them has a random assortment of livestock, sheep, camels, cows and maybe an angel. Each also has a minimum of one shepherd. And then they have the other guy, the is he a shepherd or is he Joseph guy.
I have a gorgeous white china nativity (no doubt given to me by my mother in law) that has all the necessary pieces (Jesus, Mary, 3 wise men, a camel) and two other guys. One is holding a sheep and the other a shepherd’s crook. Ummm…
I don’t really know what to do with that. I made the guy with the crook Joseph because- well the guy with the lamb in his arms is definitely a shepherd right? But the other guy really is too isn’t he? So where’s Joseph?
Most of my sets are like that. I’ve played with the idea that my kids have lost Joseph, heaven knows they’ve played with the nativities enough (and we have the missing arms, halos, etc. to prove it) but they’ve never played with my china one (I do draw the line somewhere) and what are the odds that they’ve lost all the Josephs and only the Josephs?
The thing is that I think Joseph is important. I get that Jesus is the most important, I have no argument with that. I don’t hold Mary in the regard that some do, I’m looking at you Catholics, but I still have huge amounts of respect for her. But to my mind the next most important figure there is Joseph. It’s true that he didn’t contribute the usual DNA offering that most fathers do. But he was chosen BY GOD to raise God’s son. He, of all the guys around was deemed worthy by an omnipotent, omniscient, father to be the physical father figure to the most important person to ever live. It wasn’t that he just happened to be engaged to Mary, he was picked just as much as she was. That’s kind of a big deal.
And yet I have 3 wise men and one maybe shepherd possibly Joseph guy? That’s just not right. So this Christmas while we’re singing about Christ and about the virgin mother how about a shout out the virgin father, to the guy catching that baby? How about a little love for Joesph?