Full of Grace (June 17)

The story of Mary and Joseph continues. Still living with her aunt and uncle, and new cousin, Mary continues to contemplate her life and her future, and comes to a big decision today.

The tale plays in real time, with each entry signifying a date in her pregnancy. In between entries, imagine the story continuing towards the next highlight. What happens? What does Mary experience during that time as she considers where she is in her pregnancy and what she needs to do be in what she perceives is the will of God?

You can go here to read previous entries. Follow my blog so you can get notification of new postings (see sidebar). Or the book is available for purchase if you prefer not to wait. Note: there are Hebrew words sprinkled through it. You can find a listing of them and their definitions here. The next post will be June 30.

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17 Tammuz

Once again, Mary sits at the table in her room, staring at the blank parchment before her. She is done writing, though; done asking for permission. She is going home. However, this decision requires disobedience and she had never rebelled against anyone, much less her parents.

What choice did she have, though? She enjoyed being with her aunt and uncle, yes, but she needed to live her life. Elizabeth’s admonishments weren’t lost on her and while she could admit being chosen of G-d was part of the reason behind her urgency to get home, it wasn’t the only purpose. Maybe she was being carnal, but she missed Joseph and she needed him to know about their new destiny.

Mary stands. She had to talk to Elizabeth and Zechariah. Leaving the parchment on the table, she makes her way to her aunt and uncle’s room. She hears her uncle laugh. It seems strange to hear his voice after all the months of silence

Mary knocks on the door.

“Come,” Elizabeth says.

Mary enters and smiles at the scene before her: Elizabeth and Zechariah sit on the bed, with John between them. G-d could not have chosen more doting parents.

“He looks bigger today,” Mary states, walking over to them.

“As much as he eats, he ought to,” her aunt replies.

“John is a healthy eater,” Zechariah rebuts, even as his wife laughs.

“Ha, listen to you. The boy is going to be spoiled,” she says.

“No, he will be a good boy,” Zechariah argues, an offended look on his countenance. “I will not dishonor Adonai by raising John any other way but according to his law, especially after everything he’s done for us.”

Elizabeth smiles and pats his arm.

“I know, my love. I know.”

She kisses him.

Mary looks away, blushing.

“But you didn’t come in here to see two old people kiss, did you, Mary?”

She turns back, a sheepish look on her face.

“No, doda.”

Both eye her expectantly. She takes a deep breath.

“I think it’s time…I mean, I’m ready to go home.”

Elizabeth and Zechariah look to each other. Mary can’t read their faces, can’t tell if it’s disappointment, or worse, amusement. Mary feels her heart beat faster and her face get hot again. Surely they wouldn’t deny her this…

Her aunt stands, making sure not to disturb John and walks over to her. She lays her hands on her shoulders and meets her gaze.

“Are you sure?”


“Then we’ll make arrangements.”

She’s glad for their approval, but there is still the matter of her disobedience.

“What about the fact that I am dishonoring my parents?”

Zechariah rises slowing and joins his wife at her side. He takes Mary’s hand in his and gives her a reassuring smile.

“My dear, this is bigger than your parents; it’s bigger than us. Adonai has set his salvation in motion and we cannot stand in his way. Though I am honored that he would allow you, the mother of our L-rd, to be here, you need to be where his plan is. There is no dishonor in that, no dishonor in following Adonai.”

Mary is once again silent. Beyond their approval, she is glad for their love and appreciative of their understanding. It makes her heart swell and all she can do to respond is hug them. Surrounded by their warm embrace, she knows she is doing what is best.

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