I can’t help but think about Mary during this season leading up to Christmas.
Here we are sipping our hot cocoa, listening to Christmas music, going to the Nutcracker play, and just living in this dreamland of “Christmas”.
But the real Christmas must have been terrifying.
This is what Christmas was:
-An unplanned pregnancy
-A courageous teenage mother
-A father who chose adoption over abandonment
-Birth in a shack
Yeah. Reality check..I know.
Sometimes I think many of us can get on the self-righteous bus during the holidays and talk about how we really know the true meaning of Christmas all while we swipe our credit cards spending a ridiculous amount of money on gifts and Starbucks and nonchalantly ignore the homeless beggar on the corner. (I’m not trying to say this like I haven’t done it, because I have…)
When in reality…it must have been the biggest most crucial battle for life in all of humanity.
I think about Mary and how glamorized her experiences have become. Can we take a step back and consider her scenario today, in our culture.
Ok…first off, let’s start with: unplanned pregnancy. Boom. Immediate shame and nasty stares from random bystanders.
Second: teen mom. Not just an unplanned pregnancy, but an unplanned pregnancy for a teenage girl who is unwed. Ouch. More judgement, not to mention public stoning in her time. Not just stoning, but stoning until death.
Third…unplanned pregnancy for a teen girl who is engaged to a man who is NOT the father of the baby. What?? For people who don’t believe in miracles…this one is hard to swallow without making some assumptions.
I don’t know how many of us can honestly say that we would look upon this young girl without a single judgmental thought. (I’m guilty too). Especially if this girl has run off with this man who is not the father of her baby and is basically homeless for the first few years of her child’s life.
It’s actually really crazy when we think about Christmas this way and totally turns my world upside down. How would we treat Mary if we KNEW she was carrying our Savior. How would we treat Joseph if we really KNEW exactly who he was? I would hope we would treat them with all the love in the world.
Now think about why we don’t treat all unwed, teen, pregnant mother’s with the same dignity, love, and respect.
Now think about why we don’t treat all homeless, out of work fathers with the same dignity, love, and respect.
Sure…ok, they’re not parenting Jesus Himself, but they are parenting irreplaceable, eternal, souls designed by God. I think that’s enough reason to love them just the same as we would love Mary and Joseph. And you know what? I think Mary and Joseph would agree.
It really makes me think….I need to Love. More.
No one is perfect. And I’m not trying to give anyone a guilt trip I promise….
But, I really don’t think it was just a coincidence that God chose these circumstances to bring his Son into the world. I think he was trying to tell us something about the dignity of life. ALL life. But it’s just a hunch.