Taken from Luke 1:1-55 and Matthew 1:18-24
(I have taken a few liberties with this, just so you know)
You are a young teenaged girl, engaged to be married to an older man.
In your society, premarital sex is a crime worthy of death.
In your society, being engaged was as good as being married — and adultery is also a crime equally worthy of death. Therefore, your engagement to this man is pure; you remain a virgin as you await your wedding day, and you avoid being tempted by other men as well. All is going very well.
And then the unthinkable happens: An angel tells you that God has chosen you to to be the mother of His Holy Son. And, without any sexual action, you are suddenly pregnant with this child.
Who in the world is going to believe that you are still a virgin?!?!
Your much older cousin, Elizabeth, is also miraculously pregnant through the will of God…and has been for about six months now. Perhaps she can give some guidance on this situation. So you tell your fiance, Joseph, that you are going to visit her. And you do…for three whole months. Elizabeth recognizes your God given position and praises Him for it; even the miracle baby still growing within her reacts to your presence! Surely this is an encouraging sign! And for three months, your cousin and her husband give you very strengthening encouragement.
And then it’s time to go back home again.
To your husband-to-be.
And you are starting to show your pregnancy.
The lengthy visit with Elizabeth and her mate has been so uplifting and so encouraging that you happily explain everything to your betrothed — after all, you are bearing the only Son of God! How glorious!
You forgot that your fiance received no visits from angels; whereas you and Elizabeth’s husband did. You forgot that your fiance has been clueless the entire time; all he knew is that you took off for three months to visit a relative!
And he is angry! Sad! Hurt! How could you possibly be pregnant when he waited so long for you to return! He’s been faithful to you the entire time! And what’s this story about Holy Spirit and angels and miracle pregnancies??!! C’mon Mary, what do you take me for???!!!
He storms away from you, angry, confused, and deeply wounded. To break up with you requires an actual divorce in your society; and a divorce requires proof that you cheated on him — something that your pregnancy would show. But such proof would also be your death sentence.
Oh dear God! What are you supposed to do now?! You don’t want your pure reputation dragged through the mud! You don’t want the accusations, the rumors, the stoning! Oh please, Joseph — you have to believe me! I’ve been true to you the entire time!
He doesn’t believe you. It’s simply too incredible of a story to be real! In his eyes you’ve betrayed his trust in many different ways, and your silly story is an absolute insult to his intelligence! He leaves you, and doesn’t look back.
He cannot bear to be with you any longer, but he also can’t bear to see you be put to death over this foolish mistake of yours. He can’t marry you, but he also can’t bring himself to make a public spectacle of you. No. He would divorce you quietly. That way he could go on with his life and not carry the burden of feeling responsible for your death. It was the only way.
After a long, painful night of emotion, he finally falls asleep.
And in his sleep, in a dream, God’s angel speaks very clearly to him:
Take Mary as your wife. She is not lying; she is pregnant through the will of God. The child will be the saviour of the world, and you will name him Jesus.
Joseph awakens abruptly!
But this was no ordinary dream. This was for really real!
It was settled: He would marry you. He would help you raise the Son of God.
Meanwhile, you can’t sleep either. Your betrothed has left you, accused you of adultery, and wants nothing to do with you. Not only do you now face the prospect of being a single mother, but you also face possible death — for everyone knew you are engaged to be married to him! What else would everyone think as your pregnancy grew?! How can you possibly get out of this!
God! Where are you?! You want me to bear your Son but now I face certain death!
What’s going on here?! What do I do??!!
You cannot sleep. You are too worried for yourself and the child you are carrying.
It is so hard to understand how any of this is supposed to work out.
God help me, please!
Morning comes. Sleep never came to you.
You continue to lay in your bed, praying and worrying.
When you hear a knock at your window.
You hear the knock again.
You approach the window, hesitantly.
Perhaps people already found out about your situation and have already come for you.
You slowly open the shutters and see…
YOUR BETROTHED ONE!
You stand there, stunned in silence.
And he speaks:
I’m so sorry I stormed out on you yesterday! You gotta understand how hard it was to imagine all this stuff…this never happened to anyone else! God’s angel told me the truth, and that I should marry you — so come with me now to my home as a show of our marriage! You’re pregnant, and getting bigger by the day — you need to come now so that people don’t start talking and questioning everything!
You don’t know whether to hug him or slap him!
Well, c’mon Mary — we don’t have all day! He teases.
You quickly gather your things, and praise God for protecting you from all the stuff you worried about. You praise God for giving you a man willing to go through this with you. You praise God for the coming saviour that you are carrying!