What would Christmas have looked like without Joseph? How would the world’s most well-known story – the source of countless millions of Christmas productions, songs, and little wooden figurines – change if Joseph wasn’t there?

It seems most of the attention around Christmas centers on Mary and the baby Jesus, but Joseph gets far less attention.

Scripture tells us that Joseph was a good man and, upon discovering Mary’s pregnancy, wanted to “put her away quietly.” Though he had the legal right to accuse Mary of adultery, he loved her and didn’t want to see her put to death. Joseph’s planned course of action would have forever altered the Christmas story and had far reaching implications on the fulfillment of messianic prophecy.

You might argue that God is God and would have made a way for Mary and Jesus to thrive without Joseph. True. But God didn’t. His actions reveal His desire for Joseph to be part of the story. For Jesus to have both a mother and earthly father, and for Mary to have a husband. For Jesus to come into the world with a single mother would have fulfilled God’s purpose, but it would have violated his principles.

The angel Gabriel didn’t stop after giving Mary a message of hope; he went and told Joseph, too. The Creator of marriage and family understood that the best environment to raise a child was within the shelter of a loving marriage… even when the child was Jesus.

Gabriel serves as an inspiration for our work – delivering the message of abundant life to Mary and Joseph so Joseph could provide Mary with a home and help raise Jesus in a loving family. It is of equal importance that God created this family as much as an example for us as he did to provide for His Son. 

So this Christmas, let’s give Joseph his fair share of Yuletide attention and thank God for empowering him with the message of life so that Mary and Jesus, in His humanity, would experience abundant life.