Dear Jesus, Love dad

For the past few weeks, our adult Sunday School class has been examining the "characters" in the Christmas story. Each person has taken a person or place mentioned in the story and presenting their insights as a result of their study. It has raised questions and provided much insight into this special portion of Scripture. On Sunday, my friend, Esmine, shared her "character" with us - Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus. It was such a creative and wonderful presentation that I asked her permission to share it with you. Enjoy!!

Dear Jesus,
I am not sure how much time I have left on this earth so I am writing this letter to you so that you understand the circumstances surrounding your birth and understand the values I have tried to instill in you before you were born.

When I was just betrothed to your mother, Mary, she approached me and explained she was with child through the Holy Spirit. I want you to understand that usually it is our custom, that marriage be arranged by the parents, your grandparents. So your mother was chosen for me by your parents. I proposed marriage to your mother’s father and negotiations began. Your mother and I had a formal betrothal ceremony in which we both signed a marriage contract. This agreement bound us together and could not be dissolved without a divorce. Your mom continued to live with her family, while I started to build a home for us. I had expected to bring your mom home in about a year following the wedding ceremony. But after your mom’s announcement, I became depressed because I had grown to love her. Since, she was now considered an adulteress; her fate would have been to be stoned to death if anyone found out.
One night, an angel of the Lord appeared to me and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

I listened to the angel and married your mom. We endured a lot of ridicule and heartache because of the pregnancy, but we knew you were special and we placed it in God’s hands making our lives easier.

During that time, Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census needed to be taken of the entire Roman world. Since, I am a descendant from the line of David; I took your mom from Nazareth to Bethlehem in Judea. It was a long, tedious journey for both of us. Your mom rode on a donkey, while I led the donkey. We encountered many travelers and rumors started to spread about King Herod looking for a special child to be born. Your mom was afraid, but I assured her that God would not have had us travel all this way to harm you. Shortly after we arrived in Bethlehem, your mom went into labor. So, I searched for a room, but there was no room for us in the inn. However, one of the innkeeper’s found a place in his stable for us. It was a difficult birth, but I helped to deliver you and as soon as you were born, your mom wrapped you in a cloth and placed you in a manger.

A few hours later, shepherds arrived at the stable to gaze upon your beautiful face. Your mom was so taken by what happened that she treasured all things and pondered them in her heart.

Several days later, wise men stopped by as your mom was holding you. They bowed down and worshipped you. They presented you with gifts of gold, of incense and of myrrh before they left.

As I slept that night, an angel of the Lord appeared to me for a second time. He said, “Get up and take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” I awoke immediately and we fled to Egypt, where we stayed until I heard that Herod had died. An angel of the Lord appeared to me a third time as I slept and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.” We left immediately for the land of Israel. When we arrived, I heard that Archelaus was King and I became afraid because I thought he would continue his father’s reign and come looking for you, so we went back to Nazareth. Life became uneventful after that.

I just hope that you realize the values I have tried to instill in you to always obey your Heavenly Father. I want you to use him as your guide and example. I just ask that you always take care of your mom. Do you remember the incident at the temple in Jerusalem? We searched for you for three days and found you in the temple courts being about the business of your Father. Well, you scared your mom and me to death. Because of all we had been through, we thought something bad may have happened to you. I never understood why you had to be in your Father’s house, but I understand it was your way of being closer to him.

May God continue to bless and direct your life. May his plan for your life be fulfilled. I love you very much.



Mari said...

That is beautiful. She did a great job of making me think more about the character of Joseph. Thanks to both of you for sharing it here.

Nancy said...

That was great!!

Donna said...

I love it! Wonderful that you posted this. :-)

PS: I did mention Esmine's letter to Pastor Steven and suggested that, perhaps, she could read that in church on Christmas Eve. He was still considering the program for that evening, so I don't know what his decision will be. But maybe we will hear Esmine read it again. :-)

On another note, AJ was just wonderful as Joseph this weekend! He embodied the kind of young man I imagine Joseph to have been. Strong, but vulnerable. Young and enthusiastic, but still in need of support. He was so believeable! (I told him, too.) ;-) It's okay for you to be a proud Mamma. You have two terrific kids!