Christmas is a story of God living on the ragged edge. For the next five Sundays, I will be sharing my thoughts on why the story of the first Christmas is very relevant in 2016.
This is the first Sunday of Advent – God uses a young, unmarried woman to bear his Love Gift.
When I was growing up in the 1950s and 1960s there was a social stigma attached to any woman who became pregnant without the benefit of marriage. There was even more stigma attached to the child born to such a woman. The word, bastard, was often associated with the child born to an unmarried woman. Throughout history, the negative attitude toward children born out of wedlock has marked one of the most denigrating ways to destroy a person’s character. To call a person “a bastard” even if they were born to a married couple was to call into question their character.
You can imagine the stigma attached to Mary, the mother of Jesus. The whispers were all over the village. “You know Anna’s girl? Shhh, I just found out she is pregnant and she isn’t married.” The village gossips were busier than bees at a newly discovered field of flowers. God choses to create a story of disrepute to identify with a broken world; a world shattered by worst of human destruction.
Christmas is God’s story of how God specializes in spending time with those whose lives are on the ragged edge. Maybe your reputation has been sullied by past choices or by the rumors in your community. Maybe your life is in shambles. Christmas is God entering into your ragged-edged life.
Ronald Friesen © 2016