An account of the genealogy of the Jesus the Messiah, son of David, . . . and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born . . .  Matthew 1:1, 16

In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house and greeted [her cousin] Elizabeth [whose] child leaped in her womb. Luke 1:39-41

Imagine the family talk:

“I’m so excited! Our cousin Mary has just had her first baby, a son!”

“My goodness! Remember Cousin Elizabeth! I wonder how she and Zechariah are doing with their cute baby boy—I believe his name is John! They are no spring chickens so how do they find the energy? Parenting is for the young, so they say.”
“Joseph seems a nice man—and a carpenter, too! He’s older than Cousin Mary, who has always been a special girl! Why, she ponders and ponders about all manner of things before she ever opens her mouth!”

“I swear I don’t remember an invitation to the wedding. I guess we missed that announcement. Young people today, always in a rush!

“Well, listen to this: Some people say Mary’s son is THE Messiah; you know—the Promised One! I think they call him Jesus. I don’t know about him being the Promised One. Bless his heart, he was born in a barn and his first bed was a manger!”

“Well, there was no room at the inn, you know, and they hadn’t made alternate plans. All those animals! Mary, God love her.”

Just like every other family, Mary’s would probably have exclaimed and gossiped about this unusual birth. But they also made sure that they fulfilled their family responsibilities of bringing the child into the faith. They took him to be circumcised, named him “Jesus,” and presented him to the Lord at the Temple, just as any good Jewish family would.

Prayer: Gracious God, Creator of us all, help us to remember at this time of year that our faith started with one family and has continued from generation to generation of the faithful. May we, too, pass it on. Amen.

Winnie Walsh and Nan McDaniel

About the Contributor

Ordained Elders Winnie Walsh and Nan McDaniel serve on the Adult Education and Discipleship Committee. They have recently discovered that they are cousins, both descendants of the Rev. Anthony Jacob Henckel, “Pioneer Evangelical Lutheran Minister.”