Dec 16, 2009

a mary Christmas

In case you missed it, this past Sunday in our church service we were blessed by a reading from Tabitha - a teen in our church who in many ways is around the same age as Mary might have been when she became pregnant with Jesus. Check out a version of a letter Mary may have written if all of this had gone down in the 21st Century.
Dear Lizzie -

Hey, Girl! It’s Mary.

You'll never guess what happened to me, not in a million years. I know you won’t get to read this until whenever I get to see you again, but I just needed to write down all these things I’ve been pondering in my heart.

It has been such a
wonderful and horrible time. Joseph is about to tell my father that there will be no wedding. That's the horrible part. Now let me tell you about the other.

Do you remember how you told me when I was a little girl how your mother used to say you had to be good – because someday God would send the Messiah; and if you weren't a good girl then God would choose to use someone else to be His mom? I know that’s a hard topic to bring up, since it’s been so hard for you and Zechariah to have a baby all these years.

But Lizzie, something has happened.

God sent an angel… to me. I know how that sounds, because it’s been such a long time since anyone has said such things. But I can tell you that it happened. And it was wonderful, Lizzie, just wonderful!

At first, I was terribly afraid. When I first saw him there was sort of a shine of bright white light all around him. And he seemed as tall as the temple. A giant. Then, I think he saw how scared I was and suddenly he was the size of any man, taller than Father, but not as tall as Joseph. And he told me not to be afraid… but I sort of already knew.

He was smiling. He had the kindest smile, like he knew me – even though we’d never met. And Lizzie, he smelled like honey. Remember Deborah's mother? She used to make those cakes with the sugar and honey and pour cream on them for us? That's what this angel smelled like. Weird, huh?

He looked at me - and I'm not making this up - he looked at me like what he was about to tell me was the most important words ever spoken in all of history. Even though when he spoke the first thing he said was that God loved me. He said that God had decided that I was going to bring the Messiah into the world. He said that I was the one. Then he told me I was about to be pregnant with our Savior.

Lizzie, I can't begin to tell you what that was like.

I told him he had the wrong girl. I love Joseph, and we believe in God’s plan for purity and are looking forward to marriage, and he and I have never even kissed, let alone…well, you know. But the angel said that what normally happened through a father would happen through the Holy Spirit, even before the marriage.

Lizzie, at that moment I felt something different inside of me. Not just physically, but I somehow knew what the angel said was true. Then that light that had gone away was now all around him again, only this time it was around me, too. It was like I could taste that light, feel it with my fingers. I could feel that light inside of me. I knew what he said was true.

Lizzie, it's me. I'm the one. I will bring our Messiah to the world!

I told Joseph. I couldn't *not* tell Joseph, and yet I have never seen him so torn. He’s such a righteous man, and yet instead of taking me before anyone official and calling me awful names, he said he’d probably just go to Father and break off our engagement.

So of course I told Father and Mother, and of course they had a hard time understanding it all. Why wouldn’t they when I don’t understand it either. I mean, who am I to be chosen for something so important?

I’m going to start showing soon, and so there’s talk of me coming to visit you. If that happens, I’ll probably just tell you all of this in person.

Oh, Lizzie, what am I going to do? I am so sad about Joseph. He is so angry, and yet I see him trying to figure out what the godly thing is to do. Maybe I should pray for God to talk to him, too. Maybe God will make things right again.

Lizzie, I am so sad... and at the same time, I feel this joy inside of me. I feel the Love that this child is… I can feel it in my heart. It's like whenever I feel my heart breaking over Joseph, I feel something or someone stir inside of me and I am at peace again.

I can't understand why this is happening, Lizzie. Maybe you have some idea about this that I don’t. Help me think this through like you did when we lived closer and I could count on you for advice. Girl, I need you more than ever. Someone to help me see things clearly.

Love, Mary

(This reading comes from an idea by Steve Case, rewritten by Tony Myles)

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