Hope, Peace, Joy…Shock…
Debbonnaire Kovacs, Dec. 17, 2014 I have tried—tried often—tried hard—to imagine what it really would have been like. I can’t. But I still try.
I’m a young girl somewhere in Israel. I’ve been taught my whole life to add to my daily prayers that I might be the mother of the Messiah, but as I’ve grown, I’ve begun to wonder if I really would like that if it happened. I mean, after all, he’s going to be a great military ruler. He’ll deliver us from the Romans, and bring Israel back to the fabled greatness it enjoyed under David and Solomon. Greater, even. Maybe we’ll rule Rome!
That would all be very exciting, I’m sure. It would be an unspeakable honor to be the mother of such a ruler. But I doubt I’d like it.
I have friends with babies now. They get scared when their sons get sick, when they get splinters, when they fall down and cut their lips because they’ve been chasing each other with pretend swords made out of sticks. One lost her son, four years old, to an infection that set in from just such a minor injury.
I have brothers. One was involved in an uprising in a nearby village. One Roman soldier—one!—acted like he owned the earth. They always do that. Josiah knows it. But he was so angry. Nothing anyone said could stop him, or his friends, from rushing the soldier. They were tied to posts in the square and whipped until they fell unconscious.
My brother is recovering, but I doubt he’ll ever be the same.
Part of me would love to bring into the world one who will put an end to such atrocities. Most of me doesn’t want to have to live through the accomplishment of such a goal.
Most of me just wants to live in peaceful obscurity.
…Elisabeth is pregnant! Old Elisabeth! I’m not sure which was greater, the joy for her dream come true, or the shock. It’s as if Mother Sarah came to life again. Gray-haired, wrinkled, and swelling. She says it’s not the Messiah, but I’m not sure.
Then one of her young relatives came to visit her. I was there, helping Elisabeth get ready for company. I saw Mary arrive, and Elisabeth’s joy as she ran to greet her. I smiled, too, at the look of joy and excitement on both their faces. And then…there was this moment. This…I can’t describe it. This moment.
Elisabeth stopped and grabbed her belly. She stared at Mary, and I swear her face glowed. She cried out,
You’re so blessed among women,
and the babe in your womb, also blessed!
And why am I so blessed that
the mother of my Lord visits me?
She said more, but I don’t remember. I was in shock. And then Mary’s face glowed even brighter, and she spoke as I’ve always imagined a prophet would speak—as if she were taken up in some sort of holy ecstasy.
I’m bursting with God-news;
I’m dancing the song of my Savior God.
God took one good look at me, and look what happened—
I’m the most fortunate woman on earth!
What God has done for me will never be forgotten,
the God whose very name is holy, set apart from all others.
She said more, too, but…I think I’m still in shock. I’ve retreated to my chamber, to try to still my heart. Is this it? Is he here?!
She’s no older than I am! I wonder what she thinks, how she feels?
My heart won’t stop pounding….
Nope. Still can’t imagine it. I think it’s as astonishing, as unbelievable, as impossible to take in as it will be when we see that little cloud, coming closer, growing brighter…
When we pinch ourselves and gasp, “Is this it? Is he here?!”
Bible quotes from The Message, Luke 1