Read: Luke 1:26-38
Imagine two girls; both named Mary, both nearing the age of marriage, both living in Nazareth around 15 B.C.
One girl’s father was a devout Jew, a man who loved the God of the Israelites. This girl’s home was often noisy with joyful laughter and song. She was betrothed to Joseph.
The other girl’s father was dark and surly, a tax collector who preferred his tankard to his Torah. This motherless Mary was called Kelev—dog—by her father, because he was cruel. In those days, this was the worst thing you could call someone. Like the other Mary, Kelev’s home was noisy, but with loud drunken cursing and smashing pottery. Who would marry this girl?
Perhaps you might imagine these two girls as friends, being the same age and living in the same area, but they were not. Their lives were lived as though they were worlds apart—until one night the two girls did meet.
Something had happened: Mary and Joseph were not yet married but she was already pregnant! Her father wept; her mother howled. Mary spoke of an angel, a strange visitation. They wanted to believe her, but how could it be? Hide, they said.
Late at night, Mary went to the well for water. Only people with something to hide went to the well at night.
Kelev was hiding, too. She didn’t see Mary near the well until it was too late. Mary cried out, “Wait! Don’t go!”
“My baby – when I saw you – He stirred!” Mary gasped, “Oh! I have to tell you something…”
Kelev tried to hide her bruised face. Mary reached out, touched the other girl’s cheek. The bruises disappeared. “Mary. You are Mary. God sees you; He’s here, He’s coming. He will rescue you.” There in the darkness, both Marys embraced, wept, laughed, and believed the unbelievable.
by Linda Smythe
Question: Does Kelev remind you of anyone you know?
Together: Talk about what God might be doing right now to help that person know God loves and cherishes them. Sing Infant Holy, Infant Lowly.
Prayer: Jesus, please call (fill in her/his name) by their name. Let her/him know s/he is loved. Show me ways to love them, too.
Infant holy, infant lowly,
For His bed a cattle stall;
Oxen lowing, little knowing
Christ, the babe, is Lord of all.
Swift are winging, angels singing,
Noels ringing, tidings bringing:
Christ the babe is Lord of all.
Flocks were sleeping, shepherds keeping
Vigil till the morning new
Saw the glory, heard the story,
Tidings of a gospel true.
Thus rejoicing, free from sorrow,
Praises voicing greet the morrow:
Christ the babe was born for you.
Mary Mary © by Linda Smythe, 2013. Used with permission.
© Kelly Dycavinu, Popcorn with a Spoon 2013. Excerpts and links may be used, provided there is a link to the original content and credit is given as follows: © Kelly Dycavinu, Popcorn with a Spoon 2013 https://kellydycavinu.wordpress.com/