Friday, December 06, 2013

Joseph's Carol (Dave Armstrong's 12th Christmas Poem)



Since 2006 I have written five Christmas poems of a narrative nature: four of them recounting different persons' experience on the first Christmas: Simeon (2006), the Blessed Virgin Mary (2008),  our Lord Jesus (2009), and the shepherds (2010). The fifth was a diversion from the Christmas morning / biblical theme, but still narrative in form: about St. Nicholas (2012).

It has become a literary tradition (first-person, Bible-based poems) within a personal creative tradition (my own Christmas poems) within a Christian liturgical tradition (Advent and Christmas). See also my first six Christmas poems and my Christmas web page.

St. Joseph was clearly the most important remaining subject for the next poem of this sort, and this will likely conclude the now five-part series of "biblical Christmas" poems. I hope you enjoy reading as much as I have enjoyed writing all of these poems, and a blessed Advent and Merry Christmas to one and all!



My name is Joseph, descendant of King David and father of the savior of the world;
From Nazareth, a town in Galilee, from which, it was said, nothing good ever came!
I was betrothed to sweet, lovely Mary, serious and ever holy, even as a young girl;
Joyously awaiting marriage, we never imagined what an angel would soon proclaim.

Glorious Gabriel suddenly appeared to my beloved, and at first she was quite afraid;
Hailing Mary as "full of grace" and thus confirming her exceptionally favored state.
Speaking of a wondrous child, born of God the Holy Spirit, in her womb to be made;
"Second Eve" was overshadowed by God and Jesus took flesh: at conception great.

Not knowing this at first, I was greatly distressed to find my betrothed with child,
And resolved to divorce her quietly, so as to spare her any public scandal or shame.
But then an angel spoke to me in a dream, affirming Mary's innocence all the while;
The Holy Spirit had indeed conceived  "God with us": He who would heal the lame.

Later that year, we journeyed to David's Bethlehem: for a census to be signed by all;
Even though Mary, riding a donkey, was great with child: a mother very soon to be.
Seeking a warm inn as the time drew nigh, we found no lodging but an animal's stall.
There newborn baby Jesus lay in a manger; adored by parents and shepherds, was He.

We escaped to Egypt to flee Herod's wrath; the Messiah he had determined to shun;
Mary and I found Jesus, at twelve years old, teaching in the temple, warning of hell.
He was our pride and joy, and what a privilege: our many years with the God the Son! 
As Jesus grew, I taught Him the carpenter's trade; from Him I learned much as well.

Happy and wonderful!: the blessed time we spent with our Lord who was yet our son;
Peace filled our hearts as Jesus told us of God's gospel and kingdom message wise.
Though I would not live to see Him preaching, healing in Galilee: sinners to be won,
I'll never forget my son's birth, with glowing angels and the star lighting up the skies.



Written on December 5-6, 2013.




 

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