The Significance of 'Second Fiddle'

Have you ever been an “also ran?” Have you ever been the one who stands in the background propping up the main players? I suspect that fits most of us better than being the “star player.” I remember well one day at a Christian School event when I realized that instead of Mr. Hendren, or Larry (even though I was on the board of directors), I became “Bekah’s Dad.” To the first and second graders I was nobody, just a big person in their way, until Rebekah introduced me to them as her Dad. For the rest of that day, and every day after that, whenever I happened to be at the school, I was greeted with, “Hello Bekah’s Dad!”I always did want better for my babies that what I had, and it made me feel good to be called “Bekah’s Dad.”

I wonder how Joseph felt. He had plans for his new family. I’m sure that he spent many hours thinking about how life would be when he and Mary were married, living on their own, raising a family and living “happy ever after.” Then the news came. Not Mary! Not my Mary! No, this can’t be! She can’t be pregnant! Who’s ever heard of such?

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus.
— Matthew 1:18-26

If we have the date close to correct for the birth of Jesus (and some scholars say it is not), then Joseph would have gotten this news, most likely in February. Nearly nine months before the birth this all started to soak in to Joseph. The “News,” then the “Angel Message,” and then “The Census.”All the way to Bethlehem?Really?With a pregnant wife?

I’m asking you to consider the next Manger Scene you see. There will be the Baby Jesus in the center…He’s the one with the spotlight on Him…as it should be. Then there’s Mary, maybe some shepherds, a donkey (Joseph’s donkey, that he just used to transport his very pregnant wife a hundred fifty miles on), sheep,  a cow, etc. Somewhere in the background is Joseph. The one that Mary looked to for her love, livelihood, legitimacy, and unconditional acceptance (at least after the dreamy angel thing).

My prayer today is, “Lord thank you for the Josephs. The also ran’s. The ones who propped up the ‘main players.’ Help me and all my coworkers today be the best main player or back ground guys that we can possibly be.”