Jesus may have millions of followers worldwide, but Joseph of Nazareth isn't doing too poorly himself -- on Twitter at least. An anonymous poster in Germany is taking a new look at the Nativity, and is micro-blogging it from the perspective of Mary's man.
With Christmas only three weeks away, German retailers are hoping that holiday sales will be strong, despite growing concerns about the long-term health of the euro.
But Joseph Von Nazareth, it would appear, has an entirely different set of worries. "Do you have any carpenter's work in Jerusalem? If so, I'm the man for the job," he recently posted on Twitter. He adds: "Please note, that currently, I can only take orders in Nazareth and the surrounding area."
The tweets from an anonymous German poster began on Dec. 1. And according to the micro-blogger, he intends to narrate the entire Nativity in 140-character messages right through Christmas. Already, the nascent tweeter's account, @joseph_von_naza, has attracted over 2,000 followers in five days.
Calling himself a "third-generation carpenter from Nazareth," the tweeter writes in his profile: "We have heard the story a thousand times, but nobody has ever thought about what Joseph felt about the whole thing."
So far, the blogger's Biblical tweets laced with deadpan sensitivity have ranged from the mundanely domestic to the utterly surreal. "My donkey still doesn't follow me when I call it," tweets Joseph, who finds himself overworked due to his girlfriend Mary "being a little down."
"But then Noah did build an arc on his own," adds the enthusiastic carpenter, who says he joined Twitter because Mary told him "that's what people do these days."
In his early tweets, Joseph recounted a visit to friends in Judea, Zachariah and Elizabeth, who were expecting a child. After Elizabeth gave birth to son John (the Baptist), Joseph describes him as "sweet ... but afraid of water."
Mostly, though, Joseph's attention has been focused on his girlfriend. "Mary has been acting really strange recently" says Joseph, "and is too tired to explain." In later tweets, he adds that Mary "is stressed and tired lately," but attributes her behavior to the demands of "preparing for Sabbath."
Soon, though, the truth comes out, after Mary announces "we need to talk." Once told that his girlfriend is pregnant, Joseph tweets: "I'd noticed that she was slightly larger at the hip. But the idea that she is pregnant is so hard to believe."
Narrated with all the angst of a modern man confronted with the unexpected, Joseph's blog is both entertaining and full of suspense. Will Zachariah and Elizabeth's son get over his fear of water? Is Joseph the father of Mary's child? Joseph doesn't think so and Mary "isn't sure." Stay tuned.