Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Advent 2012 : Day 3

Warm Soil

I am, embraced:
unpromising dust, once-animated
now animated once-again.

I am embraced:
moist breath, measured,
keeps time with mine.

I am embraced:
bone of bone, flesh of flesh
he delights in me!

I am embraced
within his people making
room, together.

The story of Jesus’ birth is one of incredible welcome. Mary welcomes the Spirit of God to breathe life within her, the power of God to surround her. Joseph welcomes Mary, taking her as his wife, her son as his own; taking care of them. Joseph’s relatives welcome them – in one of the most misrepresented and misunderstood stories of all.

There is no scandalous doubt over this birth: the Gospel writers, while revealing to the reader that this child was to be known as the son of God, also inform us that he was thought by all to be the son of Joseph, Mary’s husband. There is no rejection here: far from the popular stable at the rear of a commercial inn, Luke records that, as the guest room was already full, room was made for Joseph and Mary in the room the family slept in. In labour, Mary would almost certainly have been attended by Joseph’s female relatives; her son laid to sleep in the manger, a contained and warm and clean bed (straw is both an insulator and sterile).

Humanity, in their representatives, had once hid from each other and from God. Now, in their representatives, the long-lost mutual embrace is restored.

Welcome upon welcome upon welcome: this, too, Mary treasured up and pondered in her heart...

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