December 29, 2022:  Joseph

Grace Frounfelker wrote “It Happened to Ordinary People” as seven monologs that retrace the events surrounding Jesus’ birth through the eyes of certain key characters. We present them here as a special series of devotions this Christmas season. This is from Joseph.

I didn’t know where I was going last night when I ran out on Mary. I ran through the darkness until my legs wouldn’t run anymore. I was trying to run away from the truth, that Mary was pregnant with someone else’s baby. Finally, I threw myself down on the ground and I cried. I didn’t know loving could hurt so much! I cried until I couldn’t cry anymore.

Then my mind started working. What should I do? Report her to the town authorities? That was the law. No, I couldn’t do that to Mary. I couldn’t see her shamed in public no matter what she had done. But I couldn’t marry her either, thinking that she loved someone else.

‘I’ll go to her in the morning,” I decided, “and break our engagement. That’s what I’ll do. Maybe she will go back to Judea, to her cousin Elizabeth. She could have her baby there in the hills where no one from Nazareth would know about it. Maybe she could even marry the baby’s father there…” That thought hurt so badly that I started to cry again. I must have cried myself to sleep.

God came to me then as I slept on the ground. He spoke through an angel. Now I know that Mary’s story is true! Her unborn child is God’s Son, the promised Messiah! I must offer Mary my protection as her husband right now, and I will love and care for that baby when he is born.

I awoke this morning with that dream bright in my heart and the rising sun bright in my face. This is a favorite spot of mine, this cliff on the hill above our town. The whole world looks beautiful from here! But I must run and tell Mary what has happened. We’ll be married right away!

Grace Frounfelker