A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. The spirit of the LORD shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. His delight shall be in the fear of the LORD. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear; but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist, and faithfulness the belt around his loins. The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze, their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder's den. They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain; for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. Isaiah 11:1-10
I barely slept last night. The baby was restless and moving. Every time I would roll over he would start kicking or dancing...some sort of dance was going on within me. But maybe it was me too. As I walked down the street yesterday, coming from the market, laden with baskets of food, five young boys running through crowd knocked me down. Nobody would help me up and I struggled for several minutes to get up. I am so unwieldy. I was so ashamed. While I was on the ground some people shouted at me and they called me horrible names. Prostitute, whore, dirty little girl! Auntie, can you imagine? They think such terrible things - about me. I never asked for this. I have always been kind and obedient. People imagine the worst, don't they?
Joseph is a wreak making plans for our journey. He is terrified I will have the baby on the road and he will have to do the delivery. He's never seen a baby born and really doesn't want to. There are no wise women who can travel with us. He is sending word to family in Bethlehem, but we have no idea if they will help at all. I hope you are bearing. I know you always wanted a child, and me too at the proper time, but everything is bent out of shape - including me. Ha!
Keep me posted about your final days. I am making you a few small things for your baby. Mom gave me some scraps of silk which I am working with. Hope you like it when it's finished. I think of you and smile as I work. Thanks for loving me and being so understanding! What would I do without you!
Mary (the round)
Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.