In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, "Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you." But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end." Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I am a virgin?" The angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God." Then Mary said, "Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word." Then the angel departed from her. Luke 1:26-38
Dear Aunt Elizabeth,
We have only a few more miles and we will reach the outskirts of the city. We have been more relaxed and happy since we came back onto the Bethlehem road. It is terribly crowded and people are rude and pushy. We have to go slow so we stay to the side and stop quite often. I tire easily and have to get down and rest quite often. Joseph doesn't seem as anxious anymore. He has been very affectionate and seems excited to visit the city. The gloom has disappeared from his face, and that makes me smile.
Last night I had a very powerful dream. I saw the angel Gabriel again, and he reminded me not to be afraid. He said that all would be well for the rest of our journey and God would guide us every step. I sat straight up, thinking I was awake and at home. I then woke up and looked around. It was just a little room at a stopping place, very simple and very basic. It was not home but for awhile I was so filled with the sense of the angel's presence that I couldn't get back to sleep. I lit a candle and tiptoed around, not trying to wake Joseph. I sat in the one chair in the room, holding my huge belly, wondering about that dream. I had goosebumps all over! I must have fallen asleep in the chair for I woke up as the morning light reached into the window. A day or two more and we can do what we need to do and return home to have this child!
Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.