Saturday, December 25, 2004

a blokes christmas! yeah right

Christmas can be hard for men.

I mean, the pressure to buy the right gifts.
The pressure to talk to the relations
The pressure not to play with your kids toys.

To make things easier for us blokes
we have the “yeah right” billboards

Those distinctive black and orange advertisements,
dotted along the nation’s roads.

Tongue in cheek statements, followed by an ironic “Yeah right”.

5 billion chimneys in 1 night. Yeah right.
Designed, according to the advertising company. For blokes. Blokes who find Christmas hard.

So here’s Christmas, through the eyes of a bloke, Joseph, with a nod to “Yeah, right”

Hi. I’m Joseph. A carpenter.
Not much good with words.
Much better with my hands.

A bit rough. Work hard. Play hard. Do anything for my mates.

Roll with the punches. Call a spade a spade. I’m no fancy preacher but fairs fair and I stick to my God principles come rain or shine.

It all got messy the year we were bethrothed.
You folks don’t do betrothal these days.

But in my day, we got engaged as kids.
The olds arranged it.
Then when we were teenagers, a year before the wedding,
we went from engagement to betrothal.

A year to really get to know Mary.
Not know as in know. But know as in talk.

Both of us still at home, still living with our parents.

Betrothal was serious. No steamy windows.
Sticking to our God principles, come rain or hormone.

It was about 10 months into our betrothal.
Mary hadn’t been herself. All sunken and quiet. Hard to talk to.

I’m thinking maybe it was me. And then she just burst into tears.
And sobbed “I’m pregnant.”

What a punch. I just stood there. Stunned mullet.
Getting madder and madder. My head awash with ugly visions
Of some other man.
Of some other mans hands and bodies.

I can’t remember what I shouted. Whether it was “Who’s the mongrel?” or “Where do I find him?”

But she just sobbed some more. Sobbed about dreams and angels and God being the father. God. The father. That’s like blasphemy.

That was too much. I left. Slammed the door and left.

It’s not mine. Yeah right.

It took me a day or 2 to calm down.

I could still break off the betrothal

But if I went public, Mary was a goner.
She’d be dragged before the whole village.
Spat out and ridiculed. Shunned.

But I couldn’t do that. I decided I’d break the betrothal off quietly.
Go to the Rabbi. Two mates to testify to my honesty.

Still humiliating for me.
But I’d get over it. Work longer hours.

Well, that night was bizarre.
I think I was asleep. But this huge bloke appears. All white and light.

And he lays down the law.
Joseph. Son of David.

That was me.

Don’t hesitate to get married. Mary’s pregnancy is Spirit-conceived. God’s Holy Spirit has made her pregnant. She will bring a son to birth.

By morning I convinced myself I was dreaming. I mean, God’s got standards. Why expose your child to public disgrace?

I mean, you try telling that to your parents.

Trying telling them your girlfriends pregnant
But it’s OK. Really. Ok because an angel said,

There was a chaperone. Yeah right.
Blow me down, the same thing happened a second night.
Same huge bloke all white and light. Laying down the law.

Joseph. Son of David.
Don’t hesitate to get married. Mary’s pregnancy is Spirit-conceived. God’s Holy Spirit has made her pregnant. She will bring a son to birth and when she does,

Adding a second bit. “You, Joseph, will name him Jesus – God ‘saves’ – because he will save his people from their sins.”

Well you can’t argue with an angel twice.
And it gave me a whole new line.

We were saving ourselves. Yeah Right.
It’s hard living with small town gossip.
The census was a relief. A chance to get out, to travel to my birthplace.

Or so I thought. Mary had other thoughts.

8 months pregnant and you want me to walk to Hamner Springs.
It’s not a motorway Joseph. It’s a rocky 4 wheel drive track.

What does a bloke do? So I told her about the angel.
About his final words. An Old Testament verse. From Isaiah,
“Watch for this – a virgin will get pregnant and bear a son.
They will name him Emmanuel. God is with us.”

So I told Mary, of Emmanuel. God with us as we travel,

So I told Mary.
It’s not far.
And you know what she felt like saying.
Yeah right.

So we left. I’d told my mates and my family
It’s not mine.
There was a chaperone.
We were saving ourselves.
It’s not far.

I know what my mates said behind my back.

I wonder what people today would say today?
I mean, if I told you, rather than my mates
It’s not mine. It really was a virgin birth
There was a chaperone. God ways are higher than our ways.
We were saving ourselves. A baby will save people from their sins.
I mean, what would you say?


And that’s just it.
Just what Christmas is about.
That we choose to believe,
To have faith,

To believe that God would want to send a child to earth
To have faith that God could send his Son to live among us
To have faith that God so loved our world that he sent Jesus
To take God,
To take Mary
To take Joseph
To take the angel
At their word.

Posted by steve at 11:45 AM


  1. Excellent!!!!

    Comment by married to a bloke — December 26, 2004 @ 12:09 pm

  2. *sigh* beautiful man! good job! holidays’ been a bit busy, but that’s just awesome!

    Comment by Jon L — December 29, 2004 @ 11:43 pm

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