The road is rough and long to Bethlehem, my child, so to distract myself from the discomfort, I will talk to you in my heart. Where do I begin?
My life was no different than any other girl in Nazareth. I came from a poor family, yet we found joy and comfort in our faith in the Lord God. My father had just pledged me to be married to Joseph, the man now leading the donkey we are riding on. He is a good and upright man, a carpenter from the line of David. That is why we are traveling to Bethlehem, to register for the census in his own town. But I am getting ahead of myself.
Do you remember the night the angel came? Of course you do; you sent him after all. I have never felt so afraid, until he spoke to me. How could I, never having been with a man, give birth to the Son of the Most High? For that is what he told me would happen. “The Holy Spirit will come upon you,” he announced, “and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35 NIV) You, my child! It is you the angel spoke of!
I remember often hearing the prophetic words of our forefather, Isaiah. “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: the virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” (Isa.7:14) That I should be the virgin chosen to give you birth is beyond my comprehension. As the angel told me, nothing is impossible with God. When peace flooded my heart, even in the face of such an extraordinary announcement, all I could say was, “May it be to me as you have said.” (Luke 1:38)
I am so grateful the angel told me about the miracle of my cousin, Elizabeth’s expected child. The reality of who you are came clear when her child leapt in her womb at the sound of my voice and the Holy Spirit caused her to bless me as the mother of her Lord. Those months I spent with her before her baby’s birth strengthened me for what lay ahead.
As I see Joseph walking steadfastly ahead of us, I am filled with gratitude for this man chosen by God before I knew about you. He had every right to set me aside before our formal marriage, once you were evident, but he chose to believe what the angel of the Lord told him. Even in the face of public condemnation and family scorn he remained obedient. He will be a kind and loving earthly father to you, my son.
All these months you have been growing inside me, child, I have pondered your destiny. It is prophesied you will be a king who will save your people from their sins. Only God can save us from our sins, and you are He. It is a mystery to me how you will do this. Because you are Messiah, you will make a way. For now I wait for your coming, longing to hold you in my arms. Through the coming dusk I see lamps glowing in the windows of Bethlehem. Can you wait until we get there, little one? Already I feel you stretching and pushing to be born, but let the world wait a little longer to see you. I want to keep you close awhile so I may treasure up all these things and ponder them in my heart.