“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 around 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 hands on Mary’s shoulders. “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 her belongings up John cried. Elizabeth picked him up. “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 leave. 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 were going. Word got back that 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, but, 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.
All Mary could do is tell everyone the truth. She couldn’t control how they responded.
Their response was their responsibility.
Are you harboring a secret you’re afraid to let anyone know about? Are you scared about what will happen if they knew?
It’s best if the truth is told. If you’re concerned about severe retribution go the authorities first. They should make the situation better for letting the truth out. If they don’t, then tell a trusted friend or family member.
Truth can’t be hidden forever. Let it out so you can go on with your life.
If your secret is a pregnancy don’t take the abortion option. Please! That’s not God’s plan.
Give this child every chance to become who God intends them to be.
Read Psalm 139 before you make a decision about this life. Verse 16 is especially poignant: All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.
You see, God knew about your secret before it became a secret. He has a plan for this event in your life. Trust Him to see you through to its completion.
God also has a plan for the life within you now. Give that person every chance to find God’s purpose for them. You’ll live with regrets if you end that life.
Your response is your responsibility. Follow God’s truth to no regrets.
I’ll see you later. Wade