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A Letter to a Son of David

Dear Joseph,

Recently, I wrote a letter to your wife, Mary. I hope you’re okay with that since you’re both in Glory now anyway, unmarried like the rest and awaiting that great marriage supper of the Lamb.

I imagine that calling Nazareth of Galilee home must not have helped you in popularity contests. What was it like to be a part of the long and destitute lineage of kings, a great, great, great… grandson of David? Did you know that some people in my era advertise that their “boss is a Jewish carpenter”? Seems cute, I know, but they weren’t talking about you. What was it like to apprentice young Yeshua as a carpenter who is both your Lord and mine?

Our Holy Book speaks of you as a “just man” (Matthew 1:19). Seems to me that was made possible because of your Stepson (we call him Jesus). You must have taken the God of the Covenant seriously and trusted his promises. In so many ways, I want to be a righteous man like you, Joseph, and most like your Lord and mine.

How did you feel when Mary first told you about the pregnancy? Did you run away in anger? Levi tells us in his Gospel that you decided to annul your betrothal “quietly” (Matthew 1:19). You took the noble road when you could have legally shamed her or demanded her stoning. Admirable! Sleep must have been hard not knowing the truth—until, of course, the angel came and cleared it up. What must have it been like to endure the stigma of engagement to a pregnant woman?

How manly did you feel in not finding a respectable place for Mary to birth Jesus? Were you scared knowing the local king was coming to destroy baby Yeshua (Matthew 2:13)? How did you provide for mother and child as refugees in Egypt?

I think you and Mary would identify with one of our Christmas movies about a kid getting left at home accidentally. One difference would be, however, is that the child of your story is real and worthy of worshiping as your Lord and mine. Shalom.

Posted by Will Pareja with

A Letter to Mary

Dear Blessed Woman,

I know you won’t get this. I doubt you’ll even see this as you are in heaven joined by that great cloud of witnesses. After all, you don’t share the “ever present” or “all-knowing” qualities of your Lord and mine.

What was it like to be surprised by that angel? Did you have any idea? When did you tell your parents? What was their reaction? The Sacred Text doesn’t tell me, but did the angel come to them, too? In my society, parental disclosure from the news source for such an event would help (of course, the celestial announcement would have been appalling by itself). What do you think Joseph would have done if an angel didn’t inform him? Did you really believe or was it surreal? What did your friends say? Did anyone tell the synagogue leaders? Was suspicion building? It must have been a good thing that your cousin Elizabeth was pregnant, too. In a way, she “had the back” of your Lord and mine.

What did you crave during your pregnancy with Messiah? What was going through your head those 9 months knowing you were carrying a king? You really seem to have a mature view of God’s economics when it comes to the rich and poor, for you and your family were always struggling to make ends meet. What did the priest say when you gave him the name Yeshua? What was it like to hear Simeon’s prophecy about your future sorrow? Did you ever really anticipate the grief to come when Jesus would leave your home only to become homeless? Speaking of sorrow and grief, what did you think when you heard of Herod’s slaughter? Did you shed tears in sackcloth and ashes, make an offering or fast? Did you ever imagine the cost involved in birthing your Lord and mine in that stable?

Dear Mary, what was it like to patch up his first scraped knee? How weird was it to go shopping or to parties and never remind Jesus of the family rules? Did you ever feel unfair disciplining his half-siblings? Did you ever in a moment of alone time with Yeshua just bow down and worship both your Lord and mine?

Posted by Will Pareja with

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