In Advent Devotion 9 I asked “Why is Christmas scary?” After all, the figures in the story are being told “Fear not.” So what might be scary about Christmas?
I got a reply from someone in the church family. This is what Marg Radens had to say and she agreed to letting me share her response:
WHY IS CHRISTMAS SCARY?
Where do I start? Should I begin with the practical angles, such as work intensive preparation and expense that goes into the performing of holiday rituals: traditions requiring defined encounters with personal, physical and financial limitations? or with the extreme social biases implicit in the actual scenario of the fate of an underage, unwed, humble female pregnant by an unknown donor?
The narrative of the Bible plays so heavily on the superior options of male vs female that it is hard to know how to address the irony of the question of fear. My heart goes to Pete Seeger and the line in his poignant song: “Had I a Golden Thread.” He says, ‘I’d sing the bravery of women giving birth…’
Why do Kings visit the creche? No Queens. Why are angels and apostles so dominantly male and the advisors and supporters of Christ all male? except for the Mary of Magdala? and what are we to think of the various portrayals of the roles Mary plays in Christ’s life? Scary if you are Mary.
I like to think that Mary wasn’t scared because she knew things could and should be different. And she was willing to be part of that transformation.
Think about how you can make the celebration of Christmas less scary for yourself, your family, and for society. Consider how you can make the world less scary – for yourself and others especially women. Pray for all those who are raising children. Together may we make the world a wonderful place for children at Christmas and all year round. Amen.