Christmas in Their Shoes: Mary

If you told me a few years ago that I would be living in Egypt fleeing for my son’s life, I would have thought you were telling a crazy story about someone else. In fact, if you had told me any of what has happened I would have thought you were nuts.

It all started on a day like any other, I was going about my daily business when out of the blue, Gabriel appeared. I have to admit it was quite a shock. What was even more shocking was the news that he brought. Me, a young pledged to be married girl from Nazareth, to give birth to the Messiah? I had to be what, fourteen, fifteen at the time and was still a virgin. Still I had favor with Yahweh to the point where he wanted me to give birth to His son. I am His servant, may his will be done.

I also received news from Gabriel that my relative Elizabeth was going to have a child. That was a bit of a shock as well. She had been barren for so many years. I decided that I needed to go see her, to tell her the news from Yahweh. I was there about three months before I headed home.

After my return home, things got ugly. I had not told anyone about Gabriel’s appearance or the message he had given me. Who would believe me? I was already showing signs of the baby. My family was not happy to see that. It brought great shame on them. They still believed that I had slept with another man besides Joseph, my fiancé, and become pregnant, a sin punishable by stoning according the Law of Moses and a horrible way to die. It took all my strength to convince Joseph that I had done nothing of the sort and ultimately Gabriel appeared to him in a dream, affirming my story and that we were to name the child Jesus. Joseph took me back and we were married, however we did not have sex until after Jesus was born.

Shortly afterward, the Roman Emperor decided to take a census, forcing everyone to return to their ancestral hometown. In our case we had to go to Bethlehem, the hometown of King David. It was a long and painful journey to take, especially on the back of a donkey and being pregnant at the time.

By the time we reached Bethlehem, it was late and the city was bulging at the seams with people. It was also the night that the baby decided it was to be born. Joseph frantically searched for a place to stay, a room for the child to be born in. He returned with news that he had found something. He led the donkey past the inn, past the rooms and other buildings to a cave carved to be a stable of sorts. I have to admit it wasn’t pleasant, but it was better than the open wilderness or the streets as many others were forced to do.

When my son was born, I wrapped in the warmest cloth we had and used the manger as crib. It was hard to believe that I was holding Yahweh’s Son.

There was a knock at the opening of the cave. Joseph went to see who it was. He returned with a group of shepherds who had come in from the country side. They claimed that a great host of angels had told them that they would find the Messiah here and had come to see if it was true. I picked Jesus out of the manger and allowed them to see him.

Time went by and Joseph decided to stay in Bethlehem. He was a carpenter by trade and found work. Once the crowds died down he found a room for us to stay in. A few years went by when another peculiar event happened. A group of what appeared to be very wealthy men showed up at our door. It was clear that they had traveled a long way and claimed to follow a star to this location. They proclaimed great things about Jesus and left some odd gifts. Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh. Not your typical gifts to give a toddler, in fact they’re not used at all except in burial.

Not long after this Joseph dreamed that King Herod was out to kill our child and that we were to flee to Egypt to await Herod’s death.

I’m still not sure what this all could mean for our future, but I am sure that Yahweh will protect us and eventually bring us back to Nazareth.

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