(A street in Nazareth. A boy begs of two men as they walk the near-deserted streets: JOSEPH, a man in his 20s, and MICHAM, his uncle)
BEGGAR: Alms! Alms!
(Joseph reaches for his purse.)
MICHAM (stopping him): Joseph, if you’re going to be married, you can’t afford to take care of every beggar in the city.
JOSEPH: But uncle, the law says that thou. . .
MICHAM: Yes, yes, I know the law. I taught you the law.
JOSEPH: “Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need.”7
MICHAM (cutting Joseph off): “. . . sufficient for his need.” If he’s truly in need. Do not be fooled by appearances, nephew.
(Micham exits. Joseph gives a coin to the beggar. Both exit. Micham approaches Mary’s house. Mary's family enters: MARY'S MOTHER; MARY'S FATHER; MARY, a young woman; ANNA, her sister; and MARY'S BROTHER, both of whom are younger than Mary.)
MARY’S BROTHER: He’s coming! He’s coming!
MOTHER: It’s Micham.
FATHER: Where’s my coat?
MOTHER: Here, dear. You children run upstairs now.
FATHER (struggling with his coat): Wife . . .
MOTHER (as Mary begins to exit): Not you, Mary!
(Father reaches the door and opens it.)
FATHER: Micham, come in!
MICHAM: Shalom! Alohim!
FATHER: Alohim! Shalom! (To Mary) Mary, would you get something for our guest to drink? (Turning back to Micham) Come, sit.
FATHER (cont’d): So, what manner of business brings you here today?
MICHAM: I have come to make a proposal.
MOTHER: Yes, he’s ready to hear your proposal, Micham. Go on.
MARY (returning and handing Micham the drink): Are you Joseph’s uncle?
MOTHER: Excuse us. Mary, come with me.
MICHAM: Forgive me sir, the matter is plain . . .
(Lights down on Father and Micham as Mother and Mary move away from them.)
MOTHER: Come here. You’re worried.
MARY: I’m trying not to be.
MOTHER: But . . .
MARY: But how can I be sure that Joseph . . . How can I be certain that . . .
MARY: I’ve seen him at synagogue. He’s faithful.
MOTHER: The rabbis think so.
MARY: And he’s a carpenter, with a good reputation.
MARY: And he is kind. He is. And—
MOTHER: Mary, I was betrothed once myself.
MARY: You were?
MOTHER: Your father’s uncle came to visit my parents, just as Micham has come to us. And you wonder . . .
[Music cue: “Do His Will” , ]
MOTHER (cont’d): . . . will you love Joseph as your husband, and will he love you.
MARY: I’m sorry.
MOTHER: I think it’s good to wonder a little about yourself, if you will be true to the covenants you’re going to make. But we need never wonder about the Lord.
Ask God all your questions,
Tell Him all your fears,
Thank Him for His mercy,
And wait with open ears.
Listen as He answers,
Hear the voice so still,
Let the Spirit’s whisper
Teach how to do His will.
Then go and do His will.
(Mary and Mother embrace.)
FATHER: Mother, come!
MOTHER (to her husband): Yes, dear. (to Mary) Now go be with your sister.
(Mary starts to leave.)
MOTHER (cont’d): And Mary—
(Mary turns back.)
MOTHER (cont’d): I have never wondered about you.
7. Deuteronomy 15:8
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