Matthew 1:18

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.

Mary’s return from her dear cousin’s house was tiring, the journey long, and the emotions roiling. The joy at meeting baby John mingled with the fear that weighed on her shoulders. She must tell Joseph of all that’s happened–and soon. Her chest tightens as she mouths the words to herself again and again.

“An angel visited me before I traveled to Judah…” Her voice trails off into the darkness.

“Joseph,” she starts again. “You won’t believe what’s happened.” She wills joy into her voice, but it’s difficult to draw enough air into her lungs to breathe, let alone to go on.

She wants to be as clear as the angel had been that visited her weeks ago, as believable. How long ago? It seemed like just yesterday, but Mary puts a hand to her belly, now round, her tiny body now full with soft curves. Joseph would arrive any moment and she must tell him–before…

“Joseph,” she begins again, hands wrapped around her belly, sitting up straight, focusing on the space where she imagined he’d sit to remove his sandals.

“–Yes, Mary?” His voice is full of surprise and joy. He loves her, she knows. She can feel it in his touch, and see it in his eyes. They’d grown as friends in the last weeks, and she grew more comfortable with him each day, but this?

She turns to him and his face falls.

“What is it?” He rushes to her side just as she imagined.

“Something has happened,” she begins, taking his hands in hers, “something wonderful.”

“Tell me. Tell me what it is, so we can both celebrate together.” Joseph laughs, moving a hand to her cheek where a tear slipped from her eye. “Tell me.” He says again. Soft and gentle.

He will be a fine father to this baby Jesus, Mary thinks. He will believe.

She takes another shuddering breath before she begins.

“An angel visited me here, several weeks ago.”

“An angel? An angel of the Lord visited you?” Wonder fills Joseph’s face, and it’s exactly what she needs to fill her soul with courage.

A whispered prayer, and then she continues.

*If you’re just joining Mary and Joseph’s story, start from the beginning HERE.