On the last day of the festival, the great day, while Jesus was standing there, he cried out, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, ‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.'” Now he said this about the Spirit, which believers in him were to receive; for as yet there was no Spirit, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
When they heard these words, some in the crowd said, “This is really the prophet.” Others said, “This is the Messiah.” But some asked, “Surely the Messiah does not come from Galilee, does he? Has not the scripture said that the Messiah is descended from David and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?” So there was a division in the crowd because of him. Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him.
Then the temple police went back to the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked them, “Why did you not arrest him?” The police answered, “Never has anyone spoken like this!” Then the Pharisees replied, “Surely you have not been deceived too, have you? Has any one of the authorities or of the Pharisees believed in him? But this crowd, which does not know the law—they are accursed.” Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus before, and who was one of them, asked, “Our law does not judge people without first giving them a hearing to find out what they are doing, does it?” They replied, “Surely you are not also from Galilee, are you? Search and you will see that no prophet is to arise from Galilee.” John 7:37-52
Dear Aunt Elizabeth,
We have been in relative isolation and yet people still find us. This child has done something to the world around us. It is as if the news of his arrival cannot be silenced. It is as if the stones are crying out with joy. Despite all the political madness that swirls around these cities, God's love has spread like wild fire and everyone wants to come and touch this little boy. They bring all sorts of gifts for us, fresh fruit from their trees, nuts and dried fruits from their stores, cooked lamb and wondrous blankets and linens in which to wrap little Jesus. Joseph's family in the area has been helping to keep folks sensitive to our privacy but they just keep coming as if drawn by something they can feel within.
The baby grows stronger and bigger every day. He eats hungrily, sleeps peacefully and makes cooing noises when we sing to him. Joseph loves being a father, and carries him around when ever possible. He tucks him in his arm and goes about his chores with his little boy at his side, smiling all the time. I am still mending and under the care of the wise women. They are very directive and bossy and it doesn't do any good to argue with them. No matter how good I tell them I feel, they fuss and pamper me and tell me to rest and drink fluids! I have found following their instruction is better than arguing. Joseph laughs at their antics and teases me about them after they leave. But he sure loves the wonderful meals they make for us! Soon I will be well enough to travel again, but in the mean time we will enjoy the support and love that surrounds us. I cannot wait to return home to the Galilee hills and Mama and Papa.
all my love,