I read about a Christmas program that was arranged in a church. The Sunday School children were recruited to play different characters in this Christmas kit. That particular year a new lady joined the church and she was made that Sunday school teacher, Mrs McKenzie. She was very thoughtful and creative. Whole year while she was leading the Sunday school in the church, she was especially interested in this 13-year-old boy called Tom. Tom was suffering from Down syndrome – a disorder causing intellectual disability and delays physical and emotional development in that person. Tom was a very silent person and very pleasing young man, but his health was becoming worse day by day because of the physical issues related to this Down syndrome.
Mrs McKenzie thought to make Tom as the Saint Joseph in the skit. If you ask children what role you want to play in this Christmas kit? No one wants to play the role of Saint Joseph because Saint Joseph has no dialogue to say. The only thing he has to do is have his uniform, his long robe, have a stick and come and stand beside Mary and the baby. That’s all. From beginning till end. And the teacher knew that Tom will not be able to say some dialogue. So Saint Joseph’s role will be best for him. Tom’s parents were very happy for the first time the church took the initiative to recruit him for some program. For a Christmas play that they used to have once in every year.
So the rehearsal went well. Sunday night the program was organized. Everything went well and now it came to the concluding part of the skit. And everyone knew that in concluding part all the actors except Mary and this baby, the baby doll, are supposed to be on the stage and rest all the actors need to move out from the stage. Once the actors move out Mary has to look towards the baby Jesus. The light will be focused on them. And then the choir will sing the song ‘Silent Night’.
So, when the concluding scene began, Mrs McKenzie told the actors, “Children, move out!” She said slowly. And children began to move out of the stage. But then this one person did not move. He was standing like a statue there. And he was strong. Mrs McKenzie was little confused, thought that Tom would have forgotten his role. She again told in a low voice, “Tom, please move out”. He did not listen; he was just standing there, in his long gown, his thick spects. He was just looking at Mary and the baby. Now, things were becoming difficult because the man who was operating the light was waiting for this man to move out so that only Mary and the baby will be there. The choir was waiting for that light person to focus the light on these people. So everything came to a standstill. Now, Mrs. McKenzie became very anxious. She shouted, “Tom, move out”. Now, that was heard by everyone in the chapel.
Now, Tom’s parents were anxious. They were very uncomfortable sitting there. What happened to Tom? And when Tom heard this, staring at the Mary and the baby, Tom shouted, “I will never leave baby and Mary and go from here”, “I cannot move”, “That was the role of Joseph in the Bible and I am the Joseph in this play. I am not going to go”. Everyone heard. There was total silence in the Chapel. Tom’s mother held her hand over her mouth. And she gazed in wonder upon that scene. Mrs. McKenzie’s eyes were filled with tears. She motioned that light person to spot, to focus the light on these three people now. And then she pointed out to the choir to start singing silent night. Everyone agreed that this was the best Christmas Play that they ever could remember. And from that time on everyone remembered that Christmas as one where Joseph refused to move.
When we look into the Bible verses that were dedicated to Saint Joseph comparing with other Saints in the Bible, that information is very minimal. And when we look at those verses or role and the responsibility of Saint Joseph, we can know that he was given with the responsibility of protection. Just one work in our salvation story. And he did that work. He fulfilled that with mercy and kindness. He did his job well. He was obedient to that role. And God was able to fulfill his plan. Sometimes I wonder ‘Am I called to do 1000 things in my lifetime in this world?’ Many times, I realize that I’m called to do just one thing. But the question is this, Am I faithful? Am I doing that role well? Am I fulfilling that role with mercy and kindness? Am I able to do that job well so that God can fulfill his plan?