Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Pagans are Blessed by Christmas, Too: Mary, Did You Know?

As a Pagan, my view of the "Christmas Story" is most certainly not the same one shared by most of my Christian friends and family. Still, I love the holiday season and find a lot of lessons and inspiration in the Biblical story of Jesus' birth. One need not take the myth literally to benefit from it.

One such lesson has recently "smacked me up'side the head" and has put the story of Mary and the virgin birth in a whole new light. I can't claim credit for the insight all by myself. I read a blog recently that, woefully, I didn't save a link to and can't find (when I do find it again, I'll give proper credit,I promise). In the post, the author talked about Mary and gave me a lot of food for thought.

Mary is a wonderful example of courage, of accepting a calling even when your hands are trembling and your knees are week...of knowing that others may disapprove, may not believe, may abandon you...but going ahead anyway. Mary was a young Jewish girl, a virgin engaged to be married. In Mary's world, to conceive a child out of wedlock as she did was to risk her future marriage, her family, her community, her entire support network. She put the only life she had ever known on the line because she was called to give birth to the Son of God.

How many times in our lives do we receive a call to give birth to something? What gifts to the world die unborn because we lack the courage to accept the call, to receive the creative spark and carry it to term, to endure the pains of bringing it into the world, and to risk the scorn of those who do not believe? To write, to sing, to dance, to speak truth, to walk out of step with the louder drummer in order to be true to our own unique rhythms...these are sacred opportunities to give birth to the Divine. And it is only through our courageous yes and stepping forward into the unknown that our light enters the world.

This is one of my favorite Christmas songs, "Mary Did You Know?"...now in a whole new light for me. May the courage of Mary infuse you with strength to give birth to your unique gifts to the world.

1 comment:

Sing with me...