I'm joining in with "A Pause in Advent" which being hosted by Tracing Rainbows and I am looking at the time of waiting for Jesus's birth through the eyes of four different people. This week it's Elizabeth the mother of John the Baptist and you can read about her and Zechariah (her husband) in Luke 1.
It was a good job that Zechariah had been struck dumb before I told him that young Mary was coming to stay. We’ve always been good godly people but ever since I got pregnant he’s had a bee in his bonnet about an angel telling him that our baby will be something a bit special. It’s a miracle that I’m expecting at my age and that’s special enough for me but he’s gone a bit OTT.
Anyway when I said that Ann had suggested that Mary could come and give me a hand in my last few weeks before our baby is born you could see he was torn two ways. On the one hand he thought that I needed a bit of help from another woman but he wasn’t happy about it being Mary. She has persuaded Joseph to marry her but she was in the family way before that and the gossip is that it’s not Joe’s kid so our Mary isn’t the most respectable company a woman could have. Fortunately, whilst I’ve been expecting Zechariah can’t say no to me, (in fact he can’t say anything) so Mary came.
Now I’ve got to be honest. I’m not proud of this but I thought Mary would be easy to boss around a bit. She always was an obliging sort of girl and I thought that she should be very grateful to me for taking her in. After all, by the time she goes back to Nazareth the gossip will have died down and she can get on with married life with Joe, so really I’d be doing her a favour. Or so I thought. I thought she could do all the cleaning, washing and heavy stuff. She could fetch the water. She could wait on any guests who came to visit our baby. She wouldn’t need paying and she should be grateful that we took her in. The more I thought about it the more I liked the idea and you could see Zechariah coming round to my way of thinking.
So I was looking forward to her coming and kept watching out for her so the easier times could start. Joseph was coming with her to make sure she was OK and I kept looking down the road for the first sight of them. Eventually there she was, looking dusty and a bit dishevelled so I sat down ready to queen it over her.
I could never have expected what would come next. The baby gave me an almighty kick like I’ve never known and suddenly I was filled with a huge sense that I’d been getting it wrong. Somehow the baby let me know that he was excited and happy that Mary had come and even more he was over the moon about her baby. Zechariah was struck dumb when he got his message from God but all I could do was shout out, “Who am I that the mother of my Lord has come to me?” I couldn’t believe that I was saying that but I knew it was true. He is Lord and who am I? I’m excited about my baby but now I’m excited about Mary’s too. Somehow I knew that it didn’t matter who I have been - her baby is extra-special and he's going to make me different.