Who put Joseph in the back of the Stable?

Getting to the Front of the Stable

By Ann  Weems

Who put Joseph in the back of the stable?

Who dressed him in brown, put a staff in his hand,

And told him to stand in the back of the crèche

background for the magnificent light of the Madonna?

God-chosen, this man Joseph was faithful

in spite of the gossip in Nazareth,

in spite of the danger from Herod.

This man, Joseph, listened to angels

and it was he who named the Child


Actually, Joseph probably stood in the doorway

guarding the mother and child

or greeting shepherds and kings.

When he wasn’t in the doorway,

he was probably urging Mary to get some rest,

gently covering her with his cloak,

assuring her that he would watch the Child.

Actually, he probably picked the Child up in his arms

and walked him in the night,

patting him lovingly

until he closed his eyes.

This Christmas, let us give thanks to God

for this man of incredible faith

into whose care God placed the Christ Child.

As a gesture of gratitude,

let’s put Joseph in the front of the stable

where he can guard and greet

and cast an occasional glance

at this Child

who brought us life.






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