This is Joseph’s reflection on the Christmas story…
Yesterday was one of the strangest days of my life. My whole world has been turned upside down. My beloved came to me this morning and told me she was pregnant. She was devastated as she told me. She cried and told me what had happened to her. She told me she had been raped by a roman soldier. I was angry that he had treated her so. There was nothing I could do. Then she told me that after the rape, an angel appeared to her…A holy messenger appeared to a woman who had been violated. It sounded pretty far fetched, but Mary was convinced not only that the angel had come, but that the child she now carried was of God and the Holy Spirit. She was convinced that she carried God within her.
I love Mary and I as I tried to figure out what to do, I knew that she and the child she carried were in serious danger. Her family wouldn’t make the distinction that she was raped and she could be stoned to death. I had to get her away. So I planned to divorce her and send her away quietly. Far away, then she could make up a story – like she was a widow, or she could have the baby, leave it with a family and become a slave. At least then she wouldn’t be dead.
I was so unhappy as I laid down to sleep last night. I love Mary and I was looking forward to building a life together. And I knew I needed to protect her, and myself. Even though I was unhappy, it seemed like the right thing to do. And then I had a weird dream. An angel appeared to me and told me that the child in her was from the Holy Spirit. That’s exactly what Mary had said. I wondered how this could be. A child conceived in such a way came from God. It made no sense and yet in some strange way I knew it to be true. The angel told me to marry her. It goes against logic and against everything I know and yet I feel strangely calm.