Faceless man of history,

your roots were of kings and princes,

but even your family forgot your heritage.

You defended your betrothed

and built a house for your descendants

on the foundation of a promise,

well aware of the ridicule you’d receive.

Ostracized by your brothers, history limited

you to a Christmas figurine.

 

But your blood ran rich of gold and incense,

waiting to be mined from beneath the story’s surface.

 

Early morning prayers on your knees,

and the tender way you spoke to Mary

encouraged hunger in your first-born’s soul

to discover your Father for his own.

Every moment you had together

was a treasure hidden to history—

his first steps, calling you Abba,

giving him his first set of carpentry tools,

and celebrating after he sold his first table.

You taught God how to create with hands of flesh,

and how to be a man of integrity,

one who holds his tongue and turns his cheek.

 

You were not randomly selected,

nor did you draw the short straw.

You walked in the shadow

of the Heavenly Father;

the most under-rated place of honor,

counting on the stories and songs of prophets to be true.

Favored above all men, you were the second Enoch,

hidden face to face with the One who desired

to take on your character and humanity.

 

If you were the illegitimate father,

then so was my adoption as a son of God.

Olive tree whose fruit was crushed for healing oil,

I received life because you laid down yours,

forging a path for Emmanuel,

the boy who followed in your footsteps.

 

I salute you, Joseph, son of Jacob,

Papa of Jesus the Messiah.

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