This fall, members and friends of WCUC gathered to connect to scripture through creative writing. You can read their writing here and by picking up a packet of other pieces at the church.
Mary: What just happened? Was I daydreaming? I can’t believe my eyes and ears. Pregnant? How will Joseph and I face the elders of the village? Or will Joseph even believe what I tell him and stand by me during this ordeal? Probably not; I’ll have to face it alone. It has been a strange courtship, but nothing can top this. Pregnant? Pregnant! Yes, I think I’m beginning to feel and accept it as reality. But how do I tell Joseph? Or do I tell Joseph? I must tell Joseph. But he’ll never be able to withstand the shame and humiliation. What’ll I do? Do I run away and hide? I’ll go visit Elizabeth; people must be saying strange things about her weird pregnancy in old age. I’ll seek her wisdom and advice as to how to share this news with Joseph, and the world. The angel did say “Good News for all people!” Right? Let’s see how Elizabeth responds. I’m sure her wisdom and support will help me find good news in this dilemma.
Joseph: Wonder what’s the matter with Mary? She suddenly seems distant and withdrawn, and now she decides to make a sudden visit into the hill country to visit her cousin Elizabeth, and she doesn’t want me to go with her. I’m getting mixed signals: at times others congratulate me and say she seems radiant and jubilant. But when I draw near, she seems stuck in a dark cave, struggling to find her way out. And I can’t get through to her. I can’t imagine – oh, wait a minute. Now I get it. Maybe she’s having second thoughts about the marriage; cold feet. I thought she was solidly behind all the arrangements we had made, even though she had no real dowry. I’m getting old, and this seemed to be my last chance for wedded bliss. What’s happened? I must have done something wrong to turn her against me? Should I come right out and ask her if she wants to call it off? She’s already reacted to my brusque, abrupt manner. My dilemma: to find a gentler, subtle way.
Mary: I can’t believe it — Zechariah is mute; couldn’t say a word about what was happening with this strange and miraculous pregnancy late in Elizabeth’s life. She had felt cursed; now it seems to be lifting. But I am wondering how folks will see my pregnancy as anything but a curse. Maybe we should just be silent like Zechariah, and wait and see what happens. But Elizabeth was comforting and consoling. She reminded me of angelic messengers that had prepared her husband for this life-changing event. Gabriel was straightforward and direct with me: “Fear Not!” But even with angelic voices of jubilant hope, I am still terrified. I can’t keep this from Joseph any longer. I think he has already picked up signals that I am somewhat at a loss about the way this journey towards marriage is unfolding. And now this — is there any way out of this dilemma? Should I go to him? Or wait until he comes to visit? I’ll be in deep trouble, so I don’t want to seem forward and step out of line. Yes, that’s the way; he’ll come soon after I return, and we can have a heart to heart talk. But will he still want me?
Joseph: Guess I’ll stop by when Mary returns, pretending to check on her after her visit with Elizabeth. Then I’ll try to lead into her recent moodiness around me. No, that’s not right. Maybe I should just jump right in: do you still love me? Still want to get married? But I’m never that direct. She’ll be suspicious that there are already rumors flying around the village. Many thought from the beginning that we were mismatched; she was wasting her life on an old man like me. Is my joy and happiness slowly slipping through my fingers? I’ve got to stop thinking about this and do something. But it’s got to be the right thing, or I’ll make things worse. What a dilemma.
Mary: Guess I ought to rehearse my story. There’s no way Joseph is going to believe any of this. After all, he’s a carpenter: “measure twice; cut once.” Everything is measurable . . . carefully worked out . . . each detail is important . . . it’s out there right before your eyes . . . none of this mystery, magic, dreams and stuff. What about, “Surprise.” No, that won’t work; he’s always teasing me about my sick sense of humor. Oh, Lord, give me a word; some direction to get things started. Deliver me from this dilemma.