Tuesday, December 06, 2005

out of wedlock

She was just a teenager and teenagers were never supposed to know this much of the world. She grew up in a small town. You know the kind. The big town with booming business was just down the road. But she wasn't from there. Most of her friends grew up in families just like hers. She didn't have much money. She had no formal education. She was just a girl, a pregnant girl.

Everyone in that small town knew her by name. They didn't ever refuse her a smile as she scurried by but they also didn't hesitate to gossip about the bulge just under her belly. Plenty of people wondered about her early engagement. Now it all made sense. Its one thing for a teenage girl to be engaged, its another for her to get pregnant before the marriage. And like most small towns, being conservative and being religious were prerequisite to acceptance.

She was so young, yet so tough. She could handle the suspicious stares and the unending whispers. She could handle her parents shunning her. She could even handle a fiance who claimed it wasn't his baby. But she didn't know if her little body could handle a pregnancy. Could her little womb handle the strain of the next 9 months? Should she try to have this baby and raise it on her own without her fiance and without her parent's support? Everyone knew the usual fate of a small town, uneducated, poor and pregnant teenage girl. If she had that child, she could lose her fiance, her family and her future.

And where were all those conservative religious people who were supposed to know God? Why couldn't they help her? Why didn't they offer more than judgment and condemnation? It is never an easy choice, but is one she would have to make. If she got rid of the baby, there was still hope that her fiance would stay. It would be a hard way out, but it was a way out. Maybe then she could have a future and, one day, a family that would be respected by the people in her town. No woman wants to make this decision, but what else could she do?

That night she laid down to sleep. She wondered what tomorrow would bring. She didn't know what she was supposed to do. Her fiance Joe had also been trying to sleep that night. Devastated that his fiance was pregnant and sure that it wasn't his baby, he struggled to find rest well into the early morning hours. He wasn't ready to be a dad. What else could he do but leave her?

[While he was trying to figure a way out, he had a dream. God's angel spoke in the dream: Joseph, son of David, don't hesitate to get married. Mary's pregnancy is Spirit-conceived. God's Holy Spirit has made her pregnant. She will bring a son to birth, and when she does, you, Joseph, will name him Jesus--"God saves'--because he will save his people from their sins." This would bring the prophet's embryonic sermon to full term: 'Watch for this--a virgin will get pregnant and bear a son; they will name him Emmanuel (Hebrew for "God is with us").'

Then Joseph woke up. He did exactly what God's angel commanded in the dream: He married Mary. But he did not consummate the marriage until she had the baby. He named the baby Jesus.] Matthew 1:20-25 The Message


At 3:53 AM, Blogger The Table Guy said...

Sounds like the makings of a good sermon.

Or maybe the redemption of the world.

Happy December bro!



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