Its been a bit quiet around here recently so I was pleased of a visitor who I could talk to and who could answer me back. Let me explain, it all started with another visitor not to me but to my husband Zach. There he was doing his job in the temple when an angel appears. He tells Zach that we are going to have a baby, I mean that’s ridiculous right well that’s what Zach thought. As a result, he now can't speak so we are getting through a lot of tablets. I wasn't sure what to make of it when he told me it here, I am now 6 months pregnant, me at my age expecting a baby, a boy John. Now that’s going to raise a few eyebrows not a family name, but that’s what the angel says so that’s what he will be called. So now I have had a visit myself from my cousin Mary she had news, but before she had spoken, I knew, my baby john jumped so much as she appeared that I knew she too had special news. She told me of her visit from another angel. How amazing.
You know when visitors turn up unexpectedly, they give you a bit of a surprise, catch you unawares well my visitor was certainly unexpected and surprised, well you could say that yes. There I was at home minding my own business when suddenly there he was, an angel. I nearly jumped out of my skin. He told me not to be afraid that God was with me, then he said that I was going to have a baby. Well I said that must be a mistake I’m not yet married but no he said that the baby would be a boy, and that God was the dad. I don’t know why but I trusted what he said something about his words, I had to say yes, ok let it happen as you say, I trust God. So here I am pregnant, I know it is not going to be easy, I’m not sure what Joseph will say, we are due to be married. I suspect he is not going to be pleased. I’m going to see my cousin to see if she has any advice.
Well it’s the census you see
Yes, we were expecting it to be busy
Everyone had to return to their own home town to registers the romans fault that Caesar too much power, its gone to his head, telling us what to do
Yes, well we didn’t have to go anywhere, born and bred in Bethlehem just as generations before us so we were lucky
Not like our visitors
Yes, our visitors they had all come from all over the place, every room in the town was full
No space for a mouse let alone a donkey
We had guests already, our guest room was full to bursting
You had done a good job with the guest room getting it ready and all
We weren’t expecting any more visitors, but then they arrived
We couldn’t find anyone else from the family with space to take them either
No, they were all full
Or said they were – you have heard the rumours haven’t you, it’s not his baby you know
Hmm, anyway they are family and we had to find them room
And we did
Yes, in the downstairs room with the animals
But it was warm and dry, and it was a good job we did just in time they were.
Yes, poor Mary was cutting it a bit fine
I knew she was going to drop soon just looking at her
Yes 2 visitors became 3 and the only space left for the baby was in the manger
The cows weren’t too happy
We really did have a houseful
But it didn’t stop there
No, it didn’t
Later on, that night a load of shepherds descend on us, I mean shepherds, we don’t mix with that sort normally
But they were so insistent we had to let them in
You had to let them in
They wanted to see the baby; I don’t know how they knew but they did
They said angels had told them3
Yes, the angels that’s right
They certainly went away happy, shouting and praising God they were
I think they may have been drinking something a bit too strong up on that hill
I don’t know I think that this baby of ours is a special one, we will have to keep an eye on him
I don’t know he may have turned out house upside down but I doubt he will change the world
Sitting on the hill we were minding the sheep, not much happens at night if you are lucky, I am not too keen on the dark, there could be animals out there ready to steal the sheep, or worse. We were huddled together taking turn to watch whilst others slept. Then all of a sudden, the sky was bright not like day but a strange bright light and a figure an angel telling us not to be afraid. That a baby our saviour had been born in Bethlehem, and we would find him in a manger. Then the sky filled with even more angels all saying glory to God and peace on earth. Well after a visit like that what could we do, we had to go and see for our selves if it was true. And it was there he was an ordinary looking baby lying in a manger, but there was something special about him. I will never forget my night when the angels visited. I’m not so scared of the dark now.
Well the visitors we have had, where do I begin.
It was strange that I managed to dream really, I had had so many sleepless nights. I was supposed to be getting married but then I discovered that Mary was pregnant. I had every right to disgrace her, but I couldn’t do it, it didn't feel right to me. But I couldn’t marry her. So after nights of lying awake thinking about it I had decided to break things off quietly. There would be questions yes, and people would still whisper behind my back, but I had decided it was the best option.
Then that night I had a dream, an angel telling me that this baby was from God, that He would be God with us. The angel said that I should not be afraid but to marry Mary as planned. So that’s what I did. And then there was the journey to Bethlehem where our baby, Jesus, was born. I know he is not my baby, but I feel that this baby is for all of us, He belongs to us all, He is special.
Then on that night, the night He was born, we had more visitors, shepherds telling of angels, all of them praising and worshiping our baby, He really was a baby for all.
Just when I thought all the strange visitors were done, a couple of years later, came wise men from the East. They too came to worship our boy Jesus, calling him a king, the king of the Jews. They had been led to us by a star and they brought strange gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, I’m not sure what that was all about, I’m sure it will become clear in time.
The gifts were useful though as we needed money quickly. These wise men had paid another visit on their way to us, a visit to king Herod who was not pleased about news of a new King.
Then another angelic dream message for me, I’m getting used to them now, and we are on the move again. We are off to Egypt now, away from Herod and his threats. I have been trusted by God to keep his son safe and that is what I am going to do.
Jesus: visitor or resident?
Jesus came at Christmas God with us not just to be a visitor but to be God with us to challenge us to die on the cross for our sins he visited our earth the world he had created to save it. He became human and shared in our experience he was a resident not just a visitor fully human. And by his spirit he is always with us if we allow him to live in us and work in us.
Script by Sarah Evans, reproduced with permission