Mary sat on the corner of her bed with her head in her hands, and tears streaming from her eyes. How excited she had been six months ago when the angel had visited her with the news: She was to become the Mother of God! Then when she began to experience the changes in her body: the fullness, the morning sickness, the weight gain, she realized that the words that the angel had spoken were actually coming to pass. She knew that she if she was to keep her secret she must leave home. She had gone to visit her relative, Elizabeth, who had also been pregnant.
How exciting it had been for both of them when Mary had entered the house! Elizabeth had immediately recognized that Mary was pregnant, and not just with any child but with the Son of God! Mary had burst into prophetic song! “My soul magnifies the Lord…For behold, all generations will call me blessed!”(1)
Mary had continued to stay with Elizabeth during the last trimester of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, helping the older woman in every way that she could. When she returned to her home, her morning sickness had gone, but she had another problem: weight gain just in certain parts of her body. Her mother was the first to become suspicious. “Mary are you pregnant? Did you and Joseph…?” Mary had glowed with her response. “Yes, Mother, I am pregnant, but it isn’t Joseph’s child.” Her mother’s face had fallen. If it wasn’t bad enough that her daughter had not waited until marriage, now it seemed that she had…, well, she had not even been faithful to Joseph, her fiance.
“No, Mother, it isn’t Joseph’s child, it’s God’s child!”
“Well, of course it is God’s child. We are all God’s children.”
“But, Mother, this is God’s only Son, the Promised Messiah! An angel came and talked to me one night. The Holy Spirit came and overshadowed me. I am still pure, because this is God’s child!”
Her mother had coughed! “Well, if this doesn’t beat all the excuses I have ever heard!! You are pregnant, and instead of owning up to your sin, you are lying about it! Just think how this sounds! Has anyone ever even heard of anything like this happening before? I want you to pack up your things and leave, Mary. You are a poor example to your younger siblings!”
Mary had next gone to Joseph. He he had been devastated. “I thought that you loved me, Mary! I wondered why you went off to Elizabeth’s house. Now I know what you were doing there!”
Mary had taken hold of Joseph’s arm. “Please, don’t you understand how special this is! God has chosen us to be the parents of His Only Son. I need you to stand by me now, or I will be on the street, maybe even stoned.”
Joseph had pulled his arm away! “Ha! You want me to protect you! If this really is God’s child, don’t you think that God will protect you? You don’t even believe your own story!” Joseph answered coldly as he walked away. However that very night Joseph also had an angelic visitation, and that changed everything!
Mary continued to sit on her bed. She had made little progress in packing her things. So much for “all generations calling me blessed,” she remarked ruefully. She thought about Joseph’s observation that God would protect her. Yes, she thought, Joseph is right. If this is God’s son, God will protect Him and me. God presence is all I need. A spirit of peace and a rest of faith came over her. Exhausted, she slept.
The next morning Mary arose, poured some water from the pitcher into the basin, and washed her tear-stained face. Then she glanced out the window. Joseph was running toward her house, and there was a big smile on his face!
(1) Luke 1:46,48