Luke 2:21

And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.

They moved upstairs as soon as the rest of Joseph’s family had returned to their own homes. His cousins were gracious hosts, and they made room for the new family among their own household, carefully carrying their small assortment of things up those wooden steps. Joseph helps to fix things around the house like the door which leads to the grassy hillside behind the house. He’d work carefully on furniture or toys that needed attention and then anything requested of him by his cousins or neighbors. Mary helps the women with meals and children through the day. She uses a sturdy cloth to tie Baby Jesus onto her chest or back while she works. Sometimes he lies in his bed and sleeps for long periods of peaceful dreams.

Mary spends long nights tending to Him, Joseph sleeping nearby.

Tonight Mary is awake while the house sleeps.

Her son sleeps soundly, lips pursed, nose fluttering with every breath. Mary, though, finds herself watching Him as she tosses and turns. She turns from her back to her stomach and from side to side, finally sitting up. She stands beside Jesus’ bed. Joseph used the manger from the stable, and made their son a bed fit for a king. She smiles at Jesus tucked into the soft linen and woolen covering before crossing to the window, and to the wall, and back again. Pacing.

Eight days old. Today Jesus is eight days old and will be circumcised shortly. Joseph sought out a rabbi recommended throughout the village. They expect him midday and will celebrate with a meal. Celebrate His birth, His name, but Mary shudders at the thought of his screech. The crumble of His face when the practice is complete. The days afterward for healing.

This sleeping baby doesn’t even know what will happen–and how much it will hurt.

Pacing once more and stopping at His bed, Mary crouches down beside Him, face to face, silent prayer on her lips.

“Jesus,” she whispers. “Today will be okay. You’ll see.” She said, more for herself than for Him. But, this time she believed it.