The two expectant mothers had just enjoyed a steaming cup of herbal tea. Elizabeth was teaching her young cousin the beautiful stitches of needle work which had been passed down through their family for many generations. Ever since Mary and her relatives had arrived at Hebron just two days ago, the women had spent hours sipping tea, sewing and talking about the births of their sons.
Their tranquility was interrupted by the sounds of a horse riding up outside. The rider was pushing the animal fast. They got up to look outside. It was Mary's uncle, her father's brother who lived near Nazareth. What could this mean?
The man briefly greeted them, then gazed at Mary with a strange look in his eyes. "I bring you a message, niece!"
"What is it? Is everything all right?" Mary began to feel anxious.
"I hope you will consider it all right." He reached inside his cloak and brought out a scrap of the light-colored wood upon which they often wrote. He then read it to her...
"Dearest Mary. An angel came to me in a dream and told me everything. Please come home right away, for your parents and I are planning our wedding. I Love you! Joseph"
To my readers: the events surrounding the birth of Christ are given extensive coverage in Scripture. The parts we don't always know about are the human elements, especially from the viewpoint of Jesus' participants. My attempt this Christmas is to stay true to the Biblical text, while shading in what it may have been like "between the lines." Please distinguish my ruminations from God's Word by reading the first few chapters of Matthew and Luke. My hope is that reading my words impacts you even a tiny percentage as much as writing them has impacted me.