All posts tagged: Joseph

Kissing the Bullet

Who would have thought that being shot in the head would be such a boon!  When 16 year old Pakistani Malala Yousafzai took a bullet to her cranium in October last year for speaking out against the Taliban, she can’t have anticipated what a blessing in disguise that piece of metal would be. A year on, the young campaigner for the education of women has experienced worldwide exposure, won the European Union’s prestigious Sakharov human rights prize, been invited to the White House by US President Barack Obama himself and released her first book, ‘I Am Malala’. I wonder if she has that bullet propped on her bedside table and, every so often, she picks it up, rolls it around in her palm, maybe even kisses it and whispers, “Thank you little bullet!” Malala is an extraordinary girl.  I hesitate to use the word ‘girl’ for one who has demonstrated wisdom and courage well beyond her 16 years.  Making good of a bad situation takes a lot of character – in fact, it is the …

Christmas for Ordinary Folk

It’s Christmas tomorrow. I hope you will find time to mull over the message secreted at the heart of this time. Some of us have heard the Christmas story so many times that it has lost its lustre. That line might describe me a few days ago. I was reading through the nativity sequence – virgin falls pregnant, travels to Bethlehem, gives birth to Jesus in a stable, shepherds and wise men come to see him – and realised that we rarely give Joseph much thought. Mary gets her fair share of accolades, and there’s a glitter and mystery around the wise men. Jesus is the main character, and rightly so. But Joseph tends to stay in the shadows, his role often downplayed or skimmed over, forgotten. I mean, think how many artists have depicted the virgin and child, Joseph strangely absent. It’s easy to overlook the fact that these famous Christmas characters were everyday people. Mary and Joseph were ordinary folk chosen for an extraordinary purpose: to raise Jesus like their own child, and first child …