If you have been following my story, you will know that I am Mary, the Mother of God, and that my Son Jesus is the Saviour of all mankind. I have told you of how He was born in that dump Bethlehem, in a stable round the back of an inn. You will know about the three kings, and of how my late husband Joseph and me had to flee to Egypt to escape the soldiers of that ratbag Herod The Great, who wanted to kill my precious baby, because He was prophesied to be a New King.
I didnt tell you any details about how He grew up, nor did I say anything more about my beloved husband Joseph, who died when Jesus was eighteen. Poor Joseph died when a wardrobe that was being carried by my mother St Anne and her friend Slippery Simon fell on him. Slippery Simon was always using my mother's house for hiding items, that he would prefer the romans or the tax collectors not see. I always thought that he was dodgy, but my mother would never hear a word against him.
Anyway they were trying to manhandle this enormous wardrobe up the outside stairs on her house to get it to what used to be my old room, but they were having great difficulty getting it in the door at the top. The darn thing was balanced precariously at the top of the steps. Some kid came running to our house with a message for Joseph to come and rescue the situation. My old man, being the obliging sort he was, ran over there to help. He was trying to direct operations from the ground level when the wardrobe slid from the grasps of the pair of noodles at the top of the stairs and tumbled from the landing right on to his head. He was killed instantly
You can imagine the shock that was to me, and to Jesus. Joseph had been a great husband, and even though he was not the actual father of Jesus, he loved Him like He was his own.
Of course it was an accident. I never blamed St Anne, or Slippery Simon, although I feel that inside they should have blamed themselves.
The next time you came across us was at that wedding in Cana. Jesus did the first of many miracles there when He turned water into wine. That was an outing I am never likely to forget. I got arrested by the romans for being drunk and disorderly. My mother, and her cousin Martha got nicked as well. It was just some supernatural footwork by Jesus that got us out.
He got a black eye from His cousin John the Baptist. John was a prophet who lived only on locusts. When he went to the wedding he couldnt hold his drink. He got absolutely paralytic, and then fell asleep. When poor Jesus tried to wake him, he thought he was being attacked, and he gave Him a right shiner.
Anyway that is all in the past. It must be about three years ago now. Things have moved on quite a bit since then.
For one thing Jesus has left home, and John the Baptist is dead. He fell foul of Herod Antipas,(A rat just like the other one). Herod didnt like John commenting on his marital relations, so he had him beheaded. We all missed him. He was the only one in the family that could talk some sense into my mother. Mind you, her nose for a bargain will always get her into trouble.
Jesus has been very busy. He has gathered around twelve friends, and they travel all over the country. He preaches, and He makes a lot of sense as well. I have heard stories of miracles. Cousin Martha told St Anne that He had brought back to life the dead son of a woman she used to know from over Naim way. I know that He has been curing lepers, because several of them have been knocking on my door looking for Him. I couldnt tell them much, except that He was somewhere up in the hills. Like most grown up sons He would never think to tell His mother where He was going. I was lucky if I got to see Him once a month, when He would bring back a big bundle of dirty clothes for me to wash. He might be The Son of God, and He might be a dab hand at raising dead people etc, but He still needed His mother to wash His tunics and cloaks. My mother, who had a wicked sense of humour, said that next time He was going to walk on water, He should bring some detergent, and then He could do His washing at the same time.
The snooty pharisee that lives over the road complained about the lepers coming round the area, but St Anne soon told him where he could stick his complaints. You can say what you like about my mother, but when it comes to sticking up for her family, there is no better woman.
I suppose I ought to bring the story up to date, so here goes.
Jesus came home a couple of weeks ago. He brought the whole gang with him, all twelve of them. He stayed with me, and the rest of them stayed in a big tent that they erected in my garden. He brought no dirty clothes this time. Apparently He did buy loads of detergent, and they did actually all do their washing while walking on the water.
Jesus explained to me that it was a kind of team building exercise He had devised. I listened, but I was really only relieved that I was spared all the laundry.
He told me that they were all going to Jerusalem the following week for The Passover festival, and He wanted me to go with them as well. He said it was very important that He go there, but He didnt tell me a lot more. I had a bad feeling about the whole thing. Like a lot of country people, I was very suspicious of city folk. I wouldnt trust them as far as I could throw them. Besides I could remember the problems we had had in Bethlehem when He was born, and Bethlehem was just a hen's run from Jerusalem.
But I said I would go with them, and I asked my mother if she would go with me. She said "of course, but Slippery Simon would have to go as well". Simon would not have been my choice of traveling companions, but, if it kept St Anne happy, I could live with it. So it was all arranged.