NOTE-this series is a narrative from both scripture and fiction. It’s the Christmas story as told by those closest to the event. Please read accordingly. Thank you.
The Voices of Christmas
I am Rabbi Judah Ben Moyce, but the villagers call me Rabbi Morty, short for Mordecai, my father, who served Nazareth as Rabbi for over fifty years, as did his father.
Our village is normally a place of peace and tranquility. But lately there has been much concern about a young woman who is expecting a baby. That’s normally a reason to celebrate and a blessing for the village. But she isn’t married, at least not by me.
I am concerned and a Rabbi shouldn’t be concerned about such things.
Even more troubling is that she claims to still be a virgin, and that her baby comes from the Holy Spirit. Perhaps most upsetting is her claim that her son will be the Messiah. How she knows she will have a son is beyond me.
Saying such things is shameful and the whole village is in an uproar.
Her explanation is that the angel Gabriel told her these things. Well, she is certainly pregnant, we can all plainly see it. Personally, in all my years as Rabbi I have never heard such blasphemy. Consider this:
- The Messiah will be born in Bethlehem, not Nazareth.
- When he comes he will overthrow our enemies.
- He will be anointed with the Spirit of God.
- He will proclaim freedom for prisoners and preach good news to the poor.
- The Messiah will sit on the throne of David and reign over the kingdom.
This thirteen year old girl, whom we’ve known since she was born, couldn’t possibly bring the Messiah into the world. And Joseph, although a good man, is nothing more than a carpenter’s apprentice. The King of Kings who will lift up a banner to the nations just couldn’t come from these people. They are too common, too ordinary, there’s not anything special about them. It’s more than implausible, it’s impossible.
I’m confused and a Rabbi shouldn’t be confused.
I have always believed that when the Son of David comes he will come in royalty, with gifts befitting a King. That the cherubim and seraphim will appear to praise and glorify the Lord and to announce the birth of our Emanuel. That great signs will appear and emissaries from the nations will come to worship him. That the birth of Christ will be a merry event and celebrated around the world.
But no, not this girl, not this village, I’m just not seeing it.