Did you hear what I said? I’m pregnant, Joseph. Aren’t you going to say anything?
What’s there to say? You tell me an angel “appeared” and “announced” you were with child . . . You ask me to believe no man had anything to do with this.
It’s the God’s honest truth, my beloved fiancé. I’ve never “been” with any one, and I am as surprised as you are . . . I was in a state of total peace and utter calm when this vision occurred. No, it was too real to be a vision. I know an angelic force manifested and indeed served as a herald from another realm; that he who named himself Gabriel was sent to guide us in the days, months and years ahead.
I don’t know why I was chosen; why we were chosen. But I know we are to raise this child to help benefit all others who one day will find meaning and salvation through, and in, his Life.
We’ve been engaged but a short time, Mary, and I’ve come to treasure you more than life itself. But I’m just a working man, a carpenter who knows little about these heavenly announcements of which you speak. How can you be so sure of these things?
Elizabeth told me, Joseph. The moment my cousin saw me, she said she was overcome by a spirit arising inside of her. She too is begotten with child, one of whom she will name John. She told me that I was “blessed;” that I was blessed among all women and how blessed the “fruit” of what she could see ripening in the womb appeared to be.
Mary, some men would want to “put away” their betrothed if they heard such a story. A woman, nay, a girl not too far removed from the tender age of puberty, proclaims she became pregnant by an act of God! It’s unheard of! Yet, when I look into my heart, it tells me to disregard what any man might say. My heart tells me to surrender all logic; to give up all rationale thought and to accept what other men would find unacceptable.
When our families agreed to our union, I wanted so badly to form our own family, but I never thought it would start like this! You have your cousin and her husband Zachary to confide in and receive understanding and succor from. I am a man. I have no one to seek such counsel. I cannot approach another and tell them what you have sworn happened to you.
Who would believe that a virgin could ever become pregnant with child? That one who has never known a man would miraculously conceive by the Sheer Will of God Himself? They might understand that in a moment of weakness a young single woman gave in to the desires of the flesh, or that some man forced himself upon her. But I can’t tell anyone about this. I’d be scorned by all who are knowledgeable in the ways of men, and be pitied by women who would see naught but a fool who would believe in such a virgin birth.
Let’s not talk of this, Mary. Let us join in marriage, and say nothing more. If the angel you speak of and the one from my dream are the same, let us travel from our homeland; let us be as far away as Bethlehem when you deliver this baby. Perhaps then, when there will be no choir of angels to announce his birth to the world, we’ll find peace on earth, good will toward men of all beliefs.
Can I get an “Amen” on this?
That, Michael J., just took me through a contemplative meditation in one of three Gospels in the Bible. I love how you exposed me to possible feelings of Joseph. Imagine going through such a no-no situation as that while having to also lay claim to angelic visitations.
I am not a proof reader or an editor – you may have called Elizabeth Mary’s “sister” in the sense of sisterhood. In my theology class, we learned Elizabeth was a relative of Mary’s, but not a sister. My Study Bible says: Luke 1, verse 36: “Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age…”
And then again, biblical scholars have been arguing for centuries over smaller issues than that! So feel free to delete these two paragraphs if you wish, Michael J.
Oops, My bad. Let me change it from sister to “cousin.”
On another note, someone told me that “an Angel of the Lord” appeared to Joseph and told him about Mary’s condition. Prior to that, it is written:
I like to believe that while sleeping, Joseph accepted her story and needed little urging from an angel in his dream to do the right thing.
But, I too am only man who isn’t privvy to such visitations.
One of the most satisfying parts of studying the Bible was graphing out key events like Christmas and Easter. We had to insert headings and fill in the written word from each of the four Gospels. Guess what? They don’t agree.
I used to think I must have made things up in my mind in Sunday School – or slept through Midnight Mass. Turns out it depended up which Gospel was being read or studied.
Another satisfying part to studying the Bible was knowing that lots of the Old Testament was left to the story tellers and songsters to pass the stories along. By the time hieroglyphics came along, the stories and books had passed down through many humans. We all know what that means.
Even though there were scribes in Jesus’ day, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were supposedly the ones recording what they perceived, remembered, interpreted, heard. At least, that is what the majority of scholars believe. Some, however, question. Then there’s the Gospel of Thomas. I’ve read tiny excerpts from that newly found Book and it blows my socks off. What a shame it was put aside. There may be more keys in that Book than puzzles!