NOTE-this narrative is from scripture and imagined by fiction. It’s the Christmas story as told by those closest to the event. Please read accordingly. Thanks.
The Voices of Christmas
It didn’t surprise me, not really, when my husband told me about Gabriel’s message of our having a son. It didn’t come as a surprise because I never stopped believing that God would answer our prayers.
THIS SURPRISED ME
What did surprise me was that six months later my niece was also with child, except she wasn’t advanced in years like me, but young and in the prime of youth.
She came to visit at our home in Ein Karem, in the foothills of western Jerusalem. The moment she walked in something amazing happened, in fact, so amazing that it was recorded in the text of scripture:
When I heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in my womb, and I was filled with the Holy Spirit and in a loud voice I exclaimed,
Mary, blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!
And Mary replied,
“My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me–holy is his name.”
Mary stayed for three months but went home when it was time for my son to be born. But during those months we spoke of everything and I marveled at all of it.
My sweet, young niece, would give birth to the Messiah.
Mary is brave and has a strength beyond her years. But in quiet moments, far removed from Nazareth, she spoke of the accusations and disapproving looks of the people. She was sad about Joseph terminating their betrothal, believing that she had given herself to another. She wept for the shame in her Fathers’s voice and the tears on her Mother’s face.
I knew, of course, that later Gabriel appeared to Joseph to explain everything. But until he did, nobody believed her: not her fiancé, her family, her Rabbi, or the people of Nazareth. Nobody believed.
I believed her because I believed in the divine messenger’s message. I believed that Mary’s baby would one day deliver us all. I soothed her troubled mind, gave her warm reassurance and provided all the comfort I could.
We took care of each other. We were two women, one old and one young and both in their first experience at giving birth. One of us carried Yeshua, God’s only son, and the other Yohhanan, God’s greatest prophet. Both would be births of glad tidings, but one would be especially merry!
Together, each in their way, they would bring salvation to the world.
Blessed be the name of the Lord.