Few things help refocus a Christian's Advent heart better than seeing a new baby born a week before Christmas. Their innocence and beauty stand in stark contrast to the world in which he or she has just entered. I was lucky enough to meet my close friend's daughter the other day, and couldn't help but see the parallels to the Christmas season. The same hope we place in each newborn child, the almost limitless potential recognized in these little ones, is really our Christmases manifest.
And this is why Christmas and our Christchild is so beautiful. For one time and for all time, that hope and potential which all mankind enter into the world with, a child born rose to the challenge.
I don't know that there is a more "manly" thing than for one man to take, as his own, another man's child to raise and love. This is essentially what Joseph, Jesus' earthly father agreed to do - and not under normal circumstances, either. Yet, his willingness to love completely this child is fitting example for opening a place in our hearts this season for Christ.
This lesson was only mediated to me through song yesterday while at the gym. I nearly teared up running laps when MercyMe's "Joseph's Lullaby" played on my iPod and I listened to the words closely. It is a beautiful song, sung from the perspective of Joseph to his new son. For one moment Joseph asks this new savior, "simply be my child." All fathers want to protect their children from the harms of the world. Unlike the rest of us, Joseph accepts he can't, if only for one night of peace.