Our Bible verse for today: “But after he considered these things, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying “Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit … When Joseph woke up, he did as the Lord’s angel had commanded him. He married her …” Matthew 1:20; 24 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Notice the forgotten people.”
Recently I came across a wonderful little booklet written by O.S. Hawkins entitled “The Christmas Code”. In it Hawkins shared some observations about the Christmas story that I had never considered before. One of them pertains to Joseph, the husband of Mary. In many respects Joseph is the forgotten man in the Christmas story. He is seldom mentioned and never directly quoted. Mary, the shepherds, the wise men, Elizabeth, Zacharias, Herod, Simeon, and even the angels all have lines to speak. But there is no record of anything Joseph ever said. Most of the time the spotlight is on others and Joseph is in the background.
Also at Christmas we sing songs about Mary, the baby Jesus, the wise men, the shepherds, the angels, and the star. We even have a song about the mythical donkey that Mary was supposed to have ridden on (Dominic the Christmas donkey). But how many of our songs directly mention Joseph? Not many. To a large degree Joseph is the forgotten man in the Christmas story.
Joseph had an important role to play, and there is a good reason God chose him to provide a home for and to raise the child Jesus. Joseph was a good godly man who was certainly a fine husband to Mary and a good father to Jesus. But he was quiet and unobtrusive. He largely remained in the shadows of the story and to this day doesn’t get much attention.
This caused me to wonder, “How many forgotten people are there in our own Christmas stories?” How many quiet and unobtrusive people are in the shadows of our Christmas celebrations? In your church there are probably single people who have no family close by. The nursing homes in every town are crowded with lonely elderly people who won’t get a present or have a visit on Christmas day.
I encourage all of us to notice the forgotten people all around us. Then select one or two who you will reach out to and bless with some attention, or perhaps a small gift, or maybe even an invitation to join you and your family for Christmas dinner.
In some respects Joseph is the forgotten man in the Christmas story. Let’s make it a point to give some attention to those around us who might be overlooked this Christmas.