George Bailey and Mary in “It’s a Wonderful Life” have their first baby, a boy, Pete. George watches as all his hometown friends travel the world complements of WW2. George’s dream of seeing the world still cannot be accomplished even compliments of the military. George is deaf in one ear from saving his brother as young kids when Harry slid into a hole in the ice. The movie does not show George lamenting his plight but throwing all his strength into helping with war efforts at home, supporting his friends. His brother becomes a pilot war hero and the other men in his life are part of historical landmarks. George brags about Harry and friends!
Joseph in the Bible story is not the chosen carrier of baby Jesus but takes a background role. He does not become the head of the Church like Peter nor hollowed like Mary. Joseph invests in the possible, though possibly not the most glamorous. He protects Mary and takes her to Bethlehem and then Egypt and back to Nazareth. He is no longer mentioned in Biblical accounts but he is the father figure who raised Jesus in his younger years. That is not something to be sneezed at.
I suspect some of us feel like minor characters supporting someone else’s lead performance. It is not easy to play second fiddle. Soooo close to important but not quite, or so the Evil One will try to convince us to think. Comparison-itis is such a rabbit hole that we so easily slide down at Christmas as friends share what they bought their kids and grandkids. We become grasshoppers in our own eyes. Finding peace in the midst of problems seems to me to depend on finding peace with our role, our talents, and our tasks in life and doing them faithfully as we are able.
Joseph was God’s chosen husband for Mary and he did his role in spite of the social censure it incurred. George Bailey was not able to go to war but he served faithfully on the home front. Lord, help us live humbly and faithfully doing all you ask of us daily.