When Mary first returned from visiting Elizabeth, it was hard not to notice that something was different. For one there was a bulge at her midsection. Then there was her story that she had been visited by an angel from Yahweh and that what obviously was a child had been conceived by the Spirit of God. Everyone thought that she had gone crazy or was covering for the man.
I was furious; I was pledged to be married to this woman. I could have her stoned for her actions if I so chose. Out of love, I decided to break off the engagement quietly. However the night before I was planning on doing so an angel appeared to me in a dream. He confirmed Mary’s story and told me that the child would save his people from their sins.
Then the decree from Augustus Caesar, the Roman Emperor that everyone should return to their ancestral hometown to be counted for a census reached our ears. Funny, it came not long after Quirinius took over as governor of the region. That meant Mary and I would have to travel to Bethlehem, the city of David. Strange now that I think of it, both Mary and I can trace our lineage back to David. Anyway, it was a long trip and Mary was getting closer to birth as the days went by. We left as soon as I could make the arrangements.
As we approached Bethlehem, I could tell that it was going to be difficult to find a proper place for the child to be born. I began searching the minute we arrived, but everyone turned me down. Except one, an innkeeper who saw that Mary was due any minute and allowed us to his stable. My pride took a hit as the innkeeper led us to a cave out behind the inn. This was no place for a child to be born, yet it was the only place. Not long after, the child arrived.
As I looked into the eyes of the child, my pride was restored. Our firstborn, a son, the patriarch of my family if something were to happen to me. The child that I would watch take his first steps, teach all my trade secrets of carpentry to, would inherit a double portion, the blessing of firstborn, the one that would be offered up to Yahweh as the law demands.
My mind returned to the words of the angel, this child would save his people from their sins. What could this possibly mean? How could a child save the world? What was in store for this child as he grew into manhood?
Am I prepared to raise a child, a child that I did not bring into this world except in delivery?