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Hope in the Heartland

The baby King

(Editor’s note: This is part one of four in a series.)

Tears stung his eyes as he walked alone in the darkness. Since Mary had suddenly left Nazareth three months earlier to visit her cousin, Elizabeth, Joseph had wrestled with something that he could not identify — until now. The unknowable had become the unthinkable.

She would have become his wife. But not anymore.

Joseph collapsed inside, no longer seeing a future that included Mary. Her words stung his thoughts.

“Joseph, I’m going to have a baby,” Mary said.

They knew what everyone in the village would soon know — the baby was not his. It was as though a sword had pierced his heart — a sword held by the one he loved more than life itself.

His choices were as obvious as the small bulge under Mary’s clothing. Promises, hearts, and the laws of God were all broken, yet he could not dismiss his love for her. Joseph’s stomach churned as he considered what to do. He could not stand the thought of making their disgrace a public spectacle, possibly ending in her death by stoning. Even though the law allowed it as a just consequence for her actions, Joseph would not allow her and the baby to die that way.

Instead, he would send her away privately — defiled but alive. She would leave and take his broken heart with her.

Joseph stumbled home, collapsing on his bed. Sleep came suddenly. And so did an angel.

Last modified Dec. 2, 2010

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