The Joseph in Us All

As we approach Christmas in less than one week, I can’t help but reflect on the Nativity Story and what Mary and Joseph went through leading up to the birth of Jesus. Only two of the four Gospel accounts tell us about the birth of Jesus, and there are some significant differences between the two. In fact, the Nativity Story, as you may know it, is typically a combination of the two Gospel accounts. In the Gospel of Matthew, an angel appears to Joseph (not Mary), and the Magi and King Herod play a large role, ending in the Holy Family’s flight to Egypt to escape the slaughter of baby boys in Bethlehem. In the Gospel of Luke, Mary’s cousin Elizabeth and her husband Zechariah make an appearance, along with the angel Gabriel approaching Mary. We hear from shepherds (not Magi), Jesus is circumcised and presented in the Temple. To reconcile the differences, people have combined the two stories, and so Nativity scenes include both Magi and shepherds, angels appear to both Mary and Joseph, and Jesus is found laying in a manger. Continue reading “The Joseph in Us All”