Merry Christmas one and all!
This monologue was featured at an Evergreen Bible Church Christmas Tea for women in 2008.
When I was a young girl, in those happy years of betrothal, not a married woman yet. I was sure of the future and filled with joy. I was in love and innocent. Way back then I was given a task from God. A task that a young girl like me, a young girl who loved God so dearly could only have dreamed of.
The Almighty Lord sent an angel to me.
I was scared, shaking. The angel was like a dream, like something out of the ancient scriptures. But he was there with me.
He called me “highly favored one” and told me I was “blessed among women.” Surely he wasn’t talking to me. But his next words were grace from God. They were to comfort and assure me—“Do not be afraid, Mary” The angel said. “For you have found favor with God.” My heart still pounds in my chest when I think of it.
I-little Mary from Nazareth. I loved the Lord God with all of my heart, with all of my strength and with all of my soul—but even so, how could I have found favor with my sovereign Lord? Little Mary from Nazareth?
My dear, sweet Joseph married me—he believed on the Lord and trusted in Him enough to marry me after he learned I was with child. That is a miracle I still ponder to this day. Do you know, he could have had me killed? It was his right by the law to have me killed for being with child.
But he loved me.
And he, like me, he loved our Lord God.
Joseph and I had other children. And I am so proud of them all. I’m their mother and I do love all of my children. But there was never a night in my life like the night our Jesus was born.
All of the powers of the earth seemed bent against us that night. Poor as we were then—so poor that we had nothing but pigeons to bring to the temple as an offering when Jesus was born. We were that poor, we didn’t even have sheep to offer for our son—our savior. We were that poor but the Roman government made us travel to register in a census.
It was a long journey by donkey. I was weary and ill. When we arrived at the tiny village Bethlehem we were pitiful. Ragged, tired and in the first pains of labor. But no one had room for us. At least not inside. And so our majestic Lord, that sweet, new, small baby was born in a manger. And for a while we were alone with our Lord. The only people on earth who knew that God was with us. Immanuel.
I remember the scriptures so well. I prayed the words for nine long months. I carried the promise in my heart, a promise for me and for the whole world.
From the prophet Isaiah, :Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel.” Immanuel. God with us.
How we wept, Joseph and I, as we looked on the face of our God with us.
They were tears of joy. My spirit rejoiced in this baby, in God my savior.
As a man, my boy still, but a man, Jesus was so patient with me. I who, had known God’s plan for him before he was conceived—his ministry broke my heart so many times. I wanted to keep him near me, keep him safe. I wanted to be with him and to mother him, my first son.
But he didn’t need a mother.
He needed to save the world.
I came to him once to see him, to be near him. I couldn’t even get close to his disciples at the time, the crowd was so large. But someone told him we were there, me and some of his brothers. But all he said was, “Who is my mother and who are my brothers? Here are my Mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in Heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” I was ashamed, frustrated. Mad. But he was right. He had such a short time here and so much to do and say. What he needed was to be heard.
My heart ached to draw him near as a son—but his heart ached. His ached worse for we are his children, all of us and he longed to draw us to himself and keep us safe.
I don’t think I have the words to say what it was to see him on the cross. He was innocence and magnificence itself—and he was being killed. He used the last of his strength for compassion on others. He offered grace to the men near him, dying. He saw me and offered me comfort.
Did any of us who loved Jesus think we could live after that? No. We were all in despair. It was the blackest night. My son. My Savior. Our Lord.
He told us so clearly, “the Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him and on the third day he will be raised to life.” He told us this again and again. But we didn’t understand.
My friends—his friends, really—and I went to the tomb. Our poor Lord had been disgraced and buried. But we went to honor him with traditional burial, to grieve together, to weep over his body.
And it was then, more than thirty years later, that I saw an angel again. I was terrified and bowed my face to the ground.
The angel spoke words of comfort to us.
He said to me “Do not be afraid.”
Those words took me back to my youth. They took me back to the promise of the angel. To the promise in Isaiah, “He shall be called Immanuel.” God with us. And that is what the angel told us. That Jesus was with us again. Alive.
We didn’t see him again right then. But we did not doubt. We wept together, but not in grief. It was exhilarating, unspeakable joy.
Our hearts were filled, overwhelmed, overflowing with joy. We ran back to the disciples as quickly as we could.
Our spirits rejoiced in God our savior.
My spirit rejoiced in God our savior. The promise was Immanuel, God with us.
I was just a young girl when the promise was made to me, that I could be the mother of Jesus. At that time I sang to the Lord a song I haven’t forgotten yet. God almighty chose that time, He chose me, to bring his Savior to the world. I said it in the song of my youth, and it is still true: my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.