Read Matthew 1:18-19
“I wish I could stay and help you with John.” Mary’s finger pulled the blanket down from the sleeping infant’s face for one last look.
Elizabeth put her arm across Mary’s shoulder. “Don’t worry about me. There are plenty of relatives and friends who are dying to help with this miracle child. I’ll be fine. Besides, you have your own miracle child to care for. You can’t keep Joseph out of the loop much longer.”
A tear dripped onto the blanket before Mary looked into Elizabeth’s eyes. “I’m worried about him rejecting the news of this being the Messiah. What will I do without him to protect me? Nobody’s going to believe me. I just know it.”
Elizabeth placed her hand on Mary’s shoulder. “The same God who gave you this burden will be there to supply what you need every step of the way. Believe that with all your heart and you’ll be okay.”
Mary nodded before they embraced for the last time. “I’ve so enjoyed our time together. I wish you could be there for me when my time to give birth comes. I’m afraid I’ll be all alone.”
Elizabeth placed her hand on Mary’s belly. “You’re never alone. God is always with you.”
The voice from outside got Mary’s attention, “come along, Mary. We must be going.”
As Mary picked up her belongings John cried. Elizabeth hugged him. “Don’t worry, little one. You’re destined to see Him again. You’ll see Him face-to-face, then.”
“Oh…” Mary walked into her uncertain future.
As she crested the hill she took one last look back to find Elizabeth, Zacharias, and John watching her exit. The scene was etched in her mind for much of the journey back to Nazareth. She pondered the words from her elder relative with each step she took.
As Joseph approached the house he could hear Mary’s father yelling. “NO DAUGHTER OF MINE WOULD EVER DO SUCH A THING! YOU CAN SLEEP HERE TONIGHT, BUT IN THE MORNING YOU NEED TO LEAVE FOREVER!”
Mary stepped out the front door as Joseph reached for the doorknob. Tears were streaming down her face. She fell into Joseph’s embrace and wept.
Joseph held her for the longest time until her tears subsided. Then he pushed her back and placed his hands on her shoulders. “Tell me you ate more than you should have while you were away.”
Mary held back more tears as she motioned toward a bench. “We need to talk.”
As they settled on the bench she searched his eyes. “Do you know why I visited Aunt Elizabeth?”
Joseph shook his head. “No, you were in such a hurry to leave you never said why you had to go. Word got back she was pregnant, but we all figured that was only a rumor.”
“She was pregnant, Joseph. I stayed with her to help her with the delivery. Do you know how I knew she was pregnant before anyone else here did?”
“Wait… you knew she was pregnant? That’s not possible.”
Mary grasped Joseph’s left hand with both of hers. “An angel told me she was carrying the fore-runner of the Messiah. Elizabeth confirmed that an angel spoke to Zacharias in the temple. Their son’s name is John.”
“Angels… the Messiah…? What does any of this have to do with you?”
Joseph pulled his hand back and slid away from Mary.
She leaned toward him. “Joseph, I promise you, I have NOT been with another man. The child in me is God Himself. I’m to be the mother of the Messiah.”
Tears welled in Joseph’s eyes. “Pregnant…women don’t just wake up pregnant. I know better than that. And here I thought you were so pure. What am I going to do with you, now?”
Mary reached for his hand. He stood and walked away. “Please believe me, Joseph.”
As Mary sat by herself the words from Elizabeth echoed in her mind. You’re never alone. God is always with you.
Mary looked up through her tears. “Please let Joseph know the truth. I don’t think I can do this without him.”
Talk about the worst day a teenager could ever ask for. That was Mary’s welcome home committee after her time in Judea aiding in the delivery of John. There’s nothing she could have done to prepare those around her for this unprecedented news.
You probably never thought about this scene in the Christmas story before. Most people don’t. They gloss over it from the angelic visitor to the manger scene without soaking in the reality of Mary’s predicament. But, Mary didn’t have that privilege.
If the same scenario played out today abortion would have been a realistic option. But, thankfully, it wasn’t a first century Jewish availability. Oh, it was used by the Romans as a means of birth control. But, the Jews weren’t that “civilized.”
If you’re carrying an unexpected life within your body don’t listen to society about the possibility of ending that life for your convenience. Please.
Nobody knows the future God has planned for that life. God does have a plan. Let’s see what that plan is. There will be regrets if you don’t allow God’s child to come into this world.
If you know of somebody wrestling with this dilemma, please, help them out. Take them in if you can to give them an option of giving a healthy start in life. Direct them to an agency near you that specializes in these situations in the least. You’ll be glad you did.
Psalm 139:13, 16 For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.
You see, Jesus’ embryo wasn’t the only one God was looking out for. He needs more people to step up and fight for these precious, innocent people.
Can He count on you?
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