Herb’s Blog, Herbdate 22973 – 1050
Here’s the haps:
You are working in the shop with Jesus who is sawing some lumber and boards to make a manger for the widow, Simone. You watch as he saws the board with careful precision and how he puts his back into anything he does. He is a worker and you are glad. You have other things you could be doing but the way he does things so carefully and right draws your attention and you just sit on the little cot and watch. Most people, even you sometimes, would just put together a manger with only a consideration for how sturdy it would be, but Jesus measures it exactly, finishes it finely, and makes a manger that just seems to say, “craftsman” all over it. A manger of all things.
“Son, most people wouldn’t put quite so much work into a manger. It’s beautiful.”
“Thank you, abba.”
“It’s nothing like the one we laid you in on the night you were born. That one was rough and worn, but we filled it with straw and covered it with a blanket and now, here you are, a fine young man.”
“You sound pleased.”
“I am. I am pleased with you, Jesus. How you have turned out. You are not only good, but you are also a good man and I get joy every time I watch you work or how you treat your sisters and even old widow Simone who can be a bit of a trial at times. You are such a good example to your younger brothers, too. And the way you spoke with the doctors in the temple that time and just everything you do seems to be good and I wanted to tell you that. This is a good manger. Not merely adequate, but good.” You take him by his broad shoulders and look into those deep, sparkling eyes of his and say, “Jesus, I love you and I am proud of you. You are a good son and a good man.”
The moment ends as Mary calls for him from the house. You lie back on the cot and think about her and about how your life has gone. You remember the times when you felt the power and the presence of angels, speaking earnestly, even urgently, to you. How could you forget the first time you saw one of these messengers or the time that the urgency was so real in the room. Recalling these things and looking at how Jesus has turned out, you feel peace. And at that very moment, the angel comes to you again. Attended by others? Instead of alarm you feel a supernatural peace as the angel smiles and speaks to you, “Joseph, come with me.”
“Where?” You ask.
Young Jesus heard the shrieks and cries and groans and wailing coming from the shop. He dashed in to find his mother sobbing and shaking, holding onto the cold, lifeless body of Joseph.