Joseph felt he had never been so tired in all his life. He laid in the bed of what was supposed to be his future in-law’s home. But now his troubled mind could only think about the bill of divorce he would issue to his young bride. He had fallen deeply in love with Mary.
I thought I knew her character...How could I have been so wrong?.. These thoughts kept rolling over and over in his mind until his head hurt. Finally, his eyes grew heavy and he fell into a deep sleep.
Radiant intense light filled Joseph’s dream. He heard his name being called from within the light an angel appeared and said to him:
“Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a Son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.”Matthew 1:20-21
Joseph slept peacefully the rest of the night. He didn’t hear the rooster announce the new day, nor did he notice the clatter of the homeowners in the next room.
“I thought Joseph was going to leave early,” Mary’s mother said to her husband.
“That was my understanding as well,” he answered.
“It’s getting late in the morning, perhaps you should go into his room and check on him.”
Mary’s father agreed with the nod of his head. He tapped on the guest room door and slowly opened it.
“Joseph?” he called out.
He peered around the door and saw Joseph lying on his side breathing deep breaths of sleep. He walked to Joseph’s beside, bent over and placed his hand on Joseph’s shoulder.
“Joseph, Joseph. Wake up!”
Joseph, roused from his slumber, sat up in bed, looked around the room and then he saw who had awakened him. Mary’s father thought he saw Joseph smiling as he woke.
“Joseph? Are you okay?” Mary’s father asked.
Joseph stood and faced his father-in-law, his bare feet on the stone floor, his tunic falling to his knees. With his hand he brushed back the hair that fell forward over his face. Now, Mary’s father could see Joseph’s face more clearly. Not only was he smiling, his face seemed to glow with jubilance.
Joseph reached forward and grasped both shoulders of the man that stood before him and said, “I am much better than okay! You won’t believe what happened.”
Mary’s father just stood there waiting for Joseph to say more. He could not understand what could have happened overnight that would make such a change in Joseph’s demeanor.
“Please, go now. I must clean up and put on the best clothes that I brought. Get your wife and my betrothed and meet with me in one hour,” Joseph said.
Mary’s father did not understand, but he was ushered out of the guest room so fast he did not have time to gather his confused thoughts to question Joseph. Before he knew it, the door was closed tight and he was on the outside of it. He shook his head from side to side as he turned to obey Joseph’s instructions.
An hour later, Joseph entered the kitchen. The first face he saw was that of his beloved Mary. His heart skipped in renewed hope of their future together. There was so much to talk about. Where would he start?
“Mary,” Joseph smiled as he said her name. “Tell me exactly what has happened to you.”
Mary looked around at her mother and father and back at Joseph. She hesitated. Her heart raced as she gathered her thoughts. Why is Joseph smiling? she thought.
Then Joseph said, “Start with what the angel told you.”
She began telling him about the brilliant light and how frightened she was. She relayed every detail of Gabriel’s message from the Lord and then she tried to explain the feeling of the Lord’s anointing upon her. She explained how she overwhelmingly felt she must see her relative Elizabeth at once and went to see her.
“I believe you Mary. I believe every single word,” Joseph said. “I didn’t at first though, but God has changed that. He sent His angel to me last night in a dream.” Joseph turned to look at Mary’s parents. “It is true. What is conceived in Mary is of the Holy Spirit.”
Mary’s father spoke up and asked, “Joseph what will you do?”
“We will marry, though only formally for now. I will take her back with me, but we will abstain from consummating the marriage until after the baby is born.”
Mary blushed and turned her head to the side and looked down. This talk of consummating the marriage in front of her parents was embarrassing. She had talked in private about such things with her mother, but to speak openly about this…
“I will leave today and finish the work on our home. Within two weeks I will come for my bride for our humble wedding festivity,” Joseph continued.
Mary thanked God, her Provider. She trusted Him and knew He would continue to work all things out for His glory. What a privilege she felt to see God’s mighty hand work in her life and the lives of those around her to bring about the Lord’s perfect plan.
Thank you for reading my Christmas Story. I hope you will keep coming back to read each chapter. Upcoming chapters will include Grandfather, angels, Gad and Susanna, shepherds and more! Follow me via e-mail and get notified of great new content when it posts.