I’m going to change my tone a bit for today. Can we talk for a second about Joe Christ? That guy is the unsung hero of the Christmas story. I think we can all agree, for the most part, other people’s kids are insufferable, right? Step parents are way under appreciated. They voluntarily care for another persons kid(s) like they are their own. I have a step-mother, and vivid memories of me and my siblings as kids. By anyone’s standard, she should have run away a thousand times. She didn’t, and neither did good ol’ Joe Christ. That guy’s life was set, before his bride-to-be got knocked up by a promiscuous ghost. And he supposedly just went with it. He’s a hero.
I’m projecting here, but there’s no way he wasn’t riddled with anxiety. In a culture where Mary could be stoned for being an unwed pregnant woman, Joe stood by her and her crazy story that this was God’s baby, not his. When things go off the rails I try to control what I can.
Ok, ok, let’s keep the weird stuff to a minimum. Not my baby. God’s baby. Fine, but everything else is going to be normal…right? We’ll get married, live life, and our…God’s son will learn the family business. Life will be relatively normal from here on out.
Ha! Everyone is already skeptical of the legitimacy of this guy’s life and he’s probably doing his best to keep things normal.
I’ll provide, I’ll raise this kid, I’ll follow the laws. Hey Mary, are you ready? The Ūber is here to take us to Bethlehem for the census…never mind. He left when I told him you’re pregnant and we aren’t married. I’ll get the donkey ready.
This guy can’t catch a break and we hardly give him any credit. He’s trying his best to make lemonade out of the lemons he’s been handed.
My fiancé is pregnant with another beings baby, I’m riding a donkey to Bethlehem because the Ūber driver didn’t want to harbor a fugitive and now there aren’t any rooms left because donkeys are slower than molasses. What’s next?!
Oh, there’s more Joe. There’s more…
You’re in labor?! This can’t be happening. There’s poop and dust everywhere! This is not how people have children! In a barn?! In the cold?! Surrounded by beasts?! C’mon God!
We can all relate. In private we all have moments like this. We do everything right and things still go to hell in a hand basket. Our hero could walk away at this point. He hasn’t done anything wrong. This isn’t even his kid.
God she’s screaming, sweating, there’s amniotic fluid everywhere, and that goat won’t shut up!
He’s spiraling in to the pit of anxiety, but moments later the baby is born, wrapped up, and eating. Now everything is peaceful. The situation is what it is. But there is peace as Joseph looks at his new son in Mary’s arms. The goat still hasn’t shut up and has in fact been joined by an incessant chorus of angels. Other than that terrifying image, peace comes over the manger, and their lives and the lives of the whole world will never be the same. Except they still couldn’t get an Ūber home. Some things never change.