This year in Pause for Advent I'm looking at those few months before Jesus was born through the eyes of four people. Unlike last weeks "observer", my thoughts are from a character who is in the Bible - Joseph.
I never thought I would ever write a letter like this but, will you marry me? I know it looks as though I’ve just blurted that out, which I have, but I’ve never been more sure of anything than that I want to marry you.
These last few days have been a real roller coaster. When I first heard your news I couldn’t believe it. I thought I was the first in your heart, just as you are in mine and when you told me that you are pregnant I was beside myself but I knew I didn’t want you to have to face public shame like Miriam did when Elihu found out she was going to have a baby. I felt so hurt when you told me and then when you told me that crazy story about an angel all I could feel for you was contempt. It seemed as though you wouldn’t trust me with the truth and you would just tell me fairy stories.
I went to see your dad. He was so ashamed that he didn’t know what to say to me. He understood completely that we wouldn’t be getting married and he was so grateful that I didn’t want to disgrace you. He even thought I was the generous one! Let’s face it; I thought I was the generous one. Big hearted me, making things easier for sluttish you - Oh Mary, I’m sorry, how could I ever have thought that?
But last night I had a dream. I’ve never been one for dreams. I’ve always thought they were just indigestion but this one was amazing. You had told me about your angel and I hadn’t believed you, but there was no disbelieving this one. I can’t describe it but when I woke up I knew that what you had said about your angel was true. I knew that I had to marry you. In fact I knew there was nothing in the world I wanted more than to marry you. Mary, will you marry me? I’m sorry that I disbelieved you, that I said those terrible things to you. My heart is filled with love like I’ve never known before. All I want is to marry you.
I don’t know what will become of this. The angel told me to call the child Jesus because he will save his people like Joshua did. I’m not sure yet if I can believe that but let's call him Jesus anyway. I thought your baby had brought the end to our love but he’s making me love like never before. I’ll go and see your dad again today and see if we can get married really quickly. People might still snigger about the shortest pregnancy on record but let them snigger: love is more important than that. This baby is teaching me a new way of loving.
Mary, will you marry me?