Monday, December 24, 2007

Beauty In The Story

There IS beauty to this story. Not a stained-glass beauty, but a stained-soul beauty, still, a beauty nonetheless.

The Virgin Birth is about an unwed pregnant teenager. And her fiancĂ© KNOWS that the baby isn’t his. There’s nothing sexy or spiritual about this. This is a capital crime. Mary could be put to death for this. And it wouldn’t be a sanitary needle in the backroom of a jail. This death would involve rocks, lots and lots of rocks.

Joseph could have led the charge, rock in hand. That would have been his right as the injured party. Or he could have grabbed the first bus out of town. “Why should I be saddled with someone else’s kid?” A perfectly legitimate question.

But instead of exacting revenge on this helpless young woman by crushing her under the full weight of the law, he was going to cut off the engagement quietly so Mary wouldn’t be punished. At least not by any legal means; she still had to deal with the baby. But then the angel in a dream tells Joseph that the baby is God’s child, so Joseph just shrugs his shoulders and marries the girl.

That’s the story of the Virgin Birth. Bare bones: a scared young woman, an angry, but compassionate man. It’s so earthbound it bleeds. To my ears, it makes the high minded theologizing sound silly.
[via The Word Proclaimed, HT: Kevin G Powell]

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