Three months after Gabriel left Mary, she returned to talk to her parents with her strange and wonderful news.
'Hi, Mum and Dad.'
'Mary! Thank goodness you are back. Where have you been? Joseph's been wanting to have the wedding and you weren't even home. Oh, I've never been so embarrassed in my life!'
'You should have been here getting ready. I've tried to work on your dress but I can't finish it without you here. Joseph's impatient. He wants to know where you've been. We couldn't even tell him.'
'I told you Mum I had to go and see Elizabeth. And guess what?'
'Yes, yes, yes. You told me that but why would you stay there three months? We've assumed you went somewhere else.'
'I stayed to help her. She's pregnant.'
'What! I thought you went to see cousin Elizabeth...'
'Yes. And she is due to have a baby any day. An angel visited Zechariah. It's so exciting.'
Mary's mother sinks into a chair. 'But they can't have children and she's older than me!'
'I know. With God nothing is impossible!'
Mary's father fidgets. He's nervous. 'Enough women talk! Mary get busy. I think Joseph will be here looking for you tomorrow night. You must be ready for the wedding by then.'
'There won't be a wedding tomorrow, Dad. Things have changed.'
'Changed!' Mary's Dad's face flushed pink. 'It can't change. Nothing's changing. We've been paid the bride price. It's locked in. You will be married.'
'Mary, honey. I thought you liked Joseph. It's natural to get a bit nervous, but you'll be very happy I'm sure. Now, come try on the dress.'
Mary wipes a tear from her eye. 'I love Joseph. It's not that. It's about what the angel said. Remember I said I saw an angel?'
Mary's Dad paused, about to go out the door. 'What's this got to do with angels? Get on with your preparations, Mary. I won't hear any more of this preposterous rubbish!'
'Dad, wait! I have to tell you. I'm pregnant, as the angel...'
Mary's Mum drops in a dead feint.
Her Dad slams the door. 'You're what?'
'The angel said I would have a baby and...'
'Are you sure, you're pregnant? Wait 'til I get my hands on that Joseph!'
'Dad, he doesn't know. He didn't do it. The angel said God would overshadow me.'
He grabbed the door handle and yanked the door open. 'You're blaming God! You're adding blasphemy to adultery. You'll be stoned.' The door slammed.
Mary helped her Mum of the floor. They sat together crying. 'Mum. You must believe me. Elizabeth says my baby is the Messiah. Her baby will make way for him. The angel said my baby will be a King; that I was the most blessed of women.'
Her poor mother is inconsolable. She puts her face in her hands and weeps.
'But, Mum. You always taught me it was the highest honour to be the mother of the Messiah.'
'Oh, Mary. It will be, but the Messiah's mother will be married by a prince - a prince in David's line. She'll live in Bethlehem.'
'The angel said all that. He will save His people. And...and He's growing inside me. Me! Oh, Mum, why would God choose me.'
'But, what about Joseph?'
'I'm waiting to see what he does.'
'What if his family decide to stone you? Have you thought of that?'
'I don't know how God will do it, Mum. But this much I know. I'm a virgin and I'm pregnant. I guess He can look after all the details.' Mary walks over to her wedding dress. 'I think I'll turn this into baby clothes fit for a King.'