Joseph: Faithful Man of God

by Catherine Osornio, based on Luke 2:1-7

Knock! Knock! Knock!

Joseph waited silently at the door of the inn. He could hear voices on the other side. He and Mary had been all over Bethlehem. All the inns were full with people registering for the Roman census. Would this place turn them away, too?

Bang! Bang! Bang!

Joseph knocked harder. He glanced at Mary, sitting patiently on the donkey. She was tired and in pain. The journey from Nazareth had been long and difficult, especially for a woman who was ready to have a baby.

Oh Lord, he prayed, let this be the place for us. I do not think You wish the Messiah to be born in the streets of Bethlehem.

A bolt slid. The door slowly creaked open. The voices grew louder.

“What do you want?” the innkeeper said angrily.

“I need a place to stay—” Joseph began.

“We’re full!”

Slam! Click!

The Child Is Coming
Joseph walked slowly back to Mary. He led the donkey down the road. There was one inn left. Perhaps this would be the one.

The sign on the door read: Full.

Joseph just had to try.

Knock! Knock! Knock!

Lord, please! he prayed.

The door opened. A man stared silently at Joseph.

“Sir,” Joseph said. “My wife is great with child. We need a place to stay.”

The innkeeper looked exhausted. “I have no place.” He began to close the door.

“Sir!” Joseph said earnestly. “The Child is coming soon!”

The man looked at Mary. He sighed deeply. “I have no place.” The door closed.

“We will take anything!” Joseph called out. He waited a few moments, then turned to Mary. “I’m sorry.”

The door opened again. The innkeeper peered out. “I have a stable,” the man said. “In the back. There is fresh hay and straw. That’s all I can offer.”

“Thank you!” Joseph said happily. Thank You, Lord!

In the Manger
The stable was full. Baa! Moo! Joseph prodded a few animals out of the way and cleared a space for Mary. She looked relieved to be resting on a bed of straw instead of the back of a donkey.

“Where will we put the Child?” she asked.

Joseph looked around. If he had been in Nazareth, he would have used his skills as a carpenter to carve a handsome cradle. There was no spare wood here—or time to build. All Joseph could find was a manger, the stone feeding trough for the animals.

“Once again, Lord, You have provided,” Joseph said.

He carefully cleaned out the manger and placed fresh, sweet-smelling straw inside.

“Joseph!” Mary cried. “The Baby is coming!”

After some time, the noises of the animals were joined by a baby’s cry.

The Savior was here at last!

Joseph took the baby from Mary, wrapped Him in cloths and laid Him tenderly in the manger.

“Welcome, Baby Jesus!” he said softly.

This article originally appeared in the December 2007 issue of Focus on the Family Clubhouse Jr. magazine. Copyright © 2007 by Catherine Osornio. Art © Waiting for the Word/Flickr.com; used under Creative Commons license.