Posts Tagged ‘Joseph’


Ancient wisdom tradition has the teacher who wrote Ecclesiastes being Solomon. Solomon born out of the forced marriage of David and Bathsheba. The one allowed to build the Temple that God stopped David from due to blood on his hands. Many will read blood on his hands as due to the wars he fought. Yet what is truly blood on your hands? The shattering of the commandments. The use of office power to forcefully rape a woman, plot the murder of her husband through unneeded risk to your own army, then. The image I always loved as the ultimate outcome. The child conceived, in Kyle Baker’s graphic novel about the story of David, shows that the child di not simply not survive birth, rather in the continued rage of power corrupting his soul, David killed the child. Thus, trapping Bathsheba in the ultimate abuse cycle for a woman in a time with no rights.

It is a story played out sadly many times regardless of gender repeatedly throughout the generations. Yet it was Joseph in the line of David that Jesus came through. But think of the Nativity story. Joseph was attempting to be “holy” in his contemplation, much like his line had been about the time. But God was at work to show how things should be in relations between humans. God asked Mary for her consent, her yes for the plan. He then went to Joseph to see if he would be willing to do what is just even though it contravened his societal rules.

This is at the core of the poetry in Ecclesiastes. It is about showing how extremes can strip all of their vocation and voice, leaving us reduced to commodities. Solomon’s empire collapsed because he allowed ideology to take root that was too expansive seeking power, glory and fortune; his father lost his blessing because his took root in black and white.

We missed the brutal warning against misogyny, gentrification and dehumanization milleniums ago. We missed the challenge to embrace a new path 2000 years ago in a Nazareth’s girl yes. Will we continue to miss opportunities to create the world that was breathed into being were all were one and all were equal?

And we are here with the words from 3:1-11, that show the balance of life (and the Birds turned it into a hit song):

1There’s an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth:

2-8A right time for birth and another for death,

A right time to plant and another to reap,

A right time to kill and another to heal,

A right time to destroy and another to construct,

A right time to cry and another to laugh,

A right time to lament and another to cheer,

A right time to make love and another to abstain,

A right time to embrace and another to part,

A right time to search and another to count your losses,

A right time to hold on and another to let go,

A right time to rip out and another to mend,

A right time to shut up and another to speak up,

A right time to love and another to hate,

A right time to wage war and another to make peace.

9-13 But in the end, does it really make a difference what anyone does? I’ve had a good look at what God has given us to do—busywork, mostly. True, God made everything beautiful in itself and in its time—but he’s left us in the dark, so we can never know what God is up to, whether he’s coming or going. I’ve decided that there’s nothing better to do than go ahead and have a good time and get the most we can out of life. That’s it—eat, drink, and make the most of your job. It’s God’s gift.

The Message, 3:1-13

 Something we have lost if one simply looks at the political landscape, and the life landscape. David’s are finally being exposed by their Bathsheba’s yet we are losing the voices of other victims. We are not seeing the full scope, because we are taking a pendulum swing to the extreme. The church swings to include LGBTTQ2+ but ignores those whom are differently abled…they may embrace women at certain points of clergy or at all points…yet then stumbles on some other sacramental non-sense. Society says all are welcome, then beats their drum for war saying they do not know how to stop radicalization yet the cure is in belonging same as any fringe group from cults to gangs that take in the one left outside.

magi1

There is a time for healing. Our world struggles with catastrophe of addictions and as lives are lost we argue harm reduction versus abstinence, not realizing the answer resonates in the person and can be both.

We yearn for home. But create barriers for belonging for all. Use our religious texts to lie about poverty being a result of sin or falling short, and not realizing it, like addiction, is a symptom of the roots being shallow and dying.

We love our labels for it can make us feel superior, for we are not them or the other. Yet simply by creating the liberal wherever you say you exist on the spectrum of left-right you have created an us-them paradigm that leads to destruction.

For in each of us a season exists. And where the season leads that is the gift is to the one where the only label that exists is part of the family. For we are, each of us, human. Born of humans. The simplest message God tried to get through the darkness wreaked over generations from David to Joseph with Mary’s simple decision. She upset the world of her tiny village and made the bravest choice possible knowing she could lose all.

Yet her Y-E-S is the season we are in that encompasses the pendulum swings. For it is the eternal gift found in ancient poetry represented by one simple word in English- AND. We abide in the AND by joining Mary’s yes in allowing seasons to exist and realizing communally and individually the answers are not always definitive, but when we are interdependent and without labels our world is better.

magi2

            As we journey as the Magi in this Christmas Season (12 days) what gifts are you bringing to the creche? What season are you bridging and choosing to be in the AND? What YES awaits in your heart?

Advertisements

38 years old is the book. Amazing isn’t it in this throw away society that something has endured and lasted through childhood, multiple uses in ministry from churches to streets to outreaches…to quiet nights on Christmas Eve with my own children. A pop up book back when Hallmark published such things, given to me by my Nan and Granddad to commemorate my first Christmas a scants 4ish months since birth, and 2ish months since the Christening into the Anglican tradition, within the Roman Catholic School gym (shamrock backboard and all).

Yet it is the story that endures and matters. Many argue the historicity of it. Did it actually happen? Was their a Virgin birth? Did it happen on Christmas Day? What about the Pagan Solstice?

Yet in simply sitting with my family this Christmas eve, no spiritual home to say, and reading the story of the family travelling at the darkest time of year seeking shelter. Dark times? The Solstice tells us this is the darkest time of year. The extra burden wrought by taxes that do not take not even affordability, but survival into account (no comment to Carbon Tax I promise)…that was the oppression of the Roman Empire where Joseph and Mary, and their people were viewed as a number, as commodities (ringing any familiarity yet?) to be used and abused.

Mary steps out of the commodification of her gender within her oppression by Rome and Religious Israel, to claim her yes in power to the Holy Mystery to bear his child. Where did this child come from? Some say a Virgin birth, some say another oppression by a Roman soldier using his property, much like David used Bathsheba, what we today call Rape, or a genocidal practice…yet Mary was the one asked whether or not she would keep it, would choose life in herself and for her baby and was blessed.

Yet that was not the end of the story, for Joseph also had to choose life. He had to choose to keep his betrothed (purchased) property and the child that was not his. He had 3 options, become the town joke by choosing and create their own outcast ways, cast Mary outside the city gates like other sex trafficked women to her death with child, or have her stoned to death.

Mary’s yes resounded to a mystical moment for Joseph to choose his own yes.

Yet this is not the end of the mysticism of the story as societal constructs of oppression are thrown off. For we are in the midst of the 12 days of Christmas. Yes it is more than a song, and I am sure the Google can reveal the Christian imagery revealed in the lyrics, but it is the 12 days that high liturgical churches embrace as a way of bringing the two nativities together.

For Luke gives us the call out to the other cast outs and oppressed imaged by the shepherds to come to the birth. Yet in Matthew, the universal Love that is the Holy Mystery, is told of the Magi who use means of magic, astrology and astronomy to track this effect in the sky of a bright light in the darkness to come and show love.  For the gifts brought would definitely be of benefit 30 years on when Jesus would leave being a general labourer and set forth to live transformational love in the world.

Yet it is the journey of the Magi, and their decision to not let Herod know what they knew about the source, Love incarnate in the manger, this is the source for the festival time Christendom finds themselves in now. The 12 Days of Christmas between the birth and the arrival of the Magi…or between the Protestant-Catholic Christmas and the Orthodox Christmas..

The universal story of these 12 days resonates outward everywhere, for it is not about creeds or bibles or buildings…it is something more incarnate.

These 12 days it is about the spiritual journey to the centre. It is about the journey home. For it is the Magi journeying into love, and then out of love and letting that light live to transform the world.

As I read the pop up book this year to my children, these are the thoughts that came out of my heart. The journey of love has not changed for anyone in our household. The journey into and out of love and letting it shine, is a moment by moment occurrence for each of us.The symbolism of the rite and song are not lost either as we continue the journey to home.

So in these 12 days, and beyond, what is your choice of love and home mean to you?


There are many versions of the Nativity of the Master Teacher known as Jesus Christ, more historically accurate, Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus Bar Josephson. There is the canonical gospel stories that appear to overlay many of the mystery religions of the ancient world’s tales of divine birth. That being in the Gospel of Luke where we find Mary’s calling or Joseph’s calling.

Yet what if other historical accounts were accurate. Think of how Jesus’ was referred to in the Gospels, the son of Mary…could it be that in an oppressed land, where the oppressed were seen as lower than cattle, where women were seen as lower than that, could there be a possibility that he was the product of rape and then so that Mary would not be killed by the mob or put aside to live out a life of destitution or prostitution, Joseph took her in to raise a child not his own.

Through this act of divine love, the child was blessed because of this and grew in unity with LOVE from the get go which opened up the ability of this enlightenment, an achievable step for all of humanity if we live into and out of the same divine spark within us all.

Could this be why the next story to hear is not so jarring? Is it because it was not shocking to Jesus for he knew that within the flow of allness that Joseph was still with him and his Mum? Surely he is not the callous asshole this passage can portray? But in different times, different hearings and different life passages we may experience different things.

As we enter in to chapter 30 when Jesus hears of Joseph’s passing, have your tools present to express what comes through for you, whether that is journaling, crafting, colouring, wood work or painting there will be an expression at the end of this Lectio Divina.

Settle into comfort, prepare your soul to hear this story for the first time. Slow your breathing, connect with the source. Feel the room you are in, the chair, bench or cushion melt away. You are in First Century India travelling, learning and discovering. Enter into the story through the Sacred Heart of Brother Jesus.

Upon this first reading, what phrase leaps out at you? Let that phrase rest with you into your meditation time for a few moments.

Reading One:

Chapter 30

Jesus receives news of the death of his father. He writes a letter to his mother. The letter. He sends it on its way by a merchant.

1. One day as Jesus stood beside the Ganges busy with his work, a caravan, returning from the West, drew near.
2. And one, approaching Jesus, said, We come to you from your native land and bring unwelcome news.
3. Your father is no more on earth; your mother grieves; and none can comfort her. She wonders whether you are still alive or not; she longs to see you once again.
4. And Jesus bowed his head in silent thought; and then he wrote. Of what he wrote this is the sum:
5. My mother, noblest of the womankind; A man just from my native land has brought me word that father is no more in flesh, and that you grieve, and are disconsolate.
6. My mother, all is well; is well for father and is well for you.
7. His work in this earth-round is done, and it is nobly done.
8. In all the walks of life men cannot charge him with deceit, dishonesty, nor wrong intent.
9. Here in this round he finished many heavy tasks, and he has gone from hence prepared to solve the problems of the round of soul.
10. Our Father-God is with him there, as he was with him here; and there his angel guards his footsteps lest he goes astray.
11. Why should you weep? Tears cannot conquer grief. There is no power in grief to mend a broken heart.
12. The plane of grief is idleness; the busy soul can never grieve; it has no time for grief.
13. When grief come trooping through the heart, just lose yourself; plunge deep into the ministry of love, and grief is not.
14. Yours is a ministry of love, and all the world is calling out for love.
15. Then let the past go with the past; rise from the cares of carnal things and give your life for those who live.
16. And if you lose your life in serving life you will sure to find in it the morning sun, the evening dews, in song of bird, in flowers, and in the stars of night.
17. In just a little while your problems of this earth-round will be solved; and when your sums are all worked out it will be pleasure unalloyed for you to enter wider fields of usefulness, to solve the greater problems of the soul.
18. Strive, then, to be content, and I will come to you some day and bring you richer gifts than gold or precious stones.
19. I’m sure that John will care for you, supplying all your needs; and I am with you all the way, Jehoshua.
20. And by the hand of one, a merchant, going to Jerusalem, he sent this letter on its way.

Meditate on the phrase for about 5-10 minutes.

Stay in time and place resting in the Sacred Heart, as you prepare to hear the story again, what memories are invoked when you were literally at a crossroads on a journey as Brother Jesus was? What was your decision? What emotions came through as a result of that decision? Let that decision rest in your soul for time after the reading.

Second Reading:

Chapter 30

Jesus receives news of the death of his father. He writes a letter to his mother. The letter. He sends it on its way by a merchant.

1. One day as Jesus stood beside the Ganges busy with his work, a caravan, returning from the West, drew near.
2. And one, approaching Jesus, said, We come to you from your native land and bring unwelcome news.
3. Your father is no more on earth; your mother grieves; and none can comfort her. She wonders whether you are still alive or not; she longs to see you once again.
4. And Jesus bowed his head in silent thought; and then he wrote. Of what he wrote this is the sum:
5. My mother, noblest of the womankind; A man just from my native land has brought me word that father is no more in flesh, and that you grieve, and are disconsolate.
6. My mother, all is well; is well for father and is well for you.
7. His work in this earth-round is done, and it is nobly done.
8. In all the walks of life men cannot charge him with deceit, dishonesty, nor wrong intent.
9. Here in this round he finished many heavy tasks, and he has gone from hence prepared to solve the problems of the round of soul.
10. Our Father-God is with him there, as he was with him here; and there his angel guards his footsteps lest he goes astray.
11. Why should you weep? Tears cannot conquer grief. There is no power in grief to mend a broken heart.
12. The plane of grief is idleness; the busy soul can never grieve; it has no time for grief.
13. When grief come trooping through the heart, just lose yourself; plunge deep into the ministry of love, and grief is not.
14. Yours is a ministry of love, and all the world is calling out for love.
15. Then let the past go with the past; rise from the cares of carnal things and give your life for those who live.
16. And if you lose your life in serving life you will sure to find in it the morning sun, the evening dews, in song of bird, in flowers, and in the stars of night.
17. In just a little while your problems of this earth-round will be solved; and when your sums are all worked out it will be pleasure unalloyed for you to enter wider fields of usefulness, to solve the greater problems of the soul.
18. Strive, then, to be content, and I will come to you some day and bring you richer gifts than gold or precious stones.
19. I’m sure that John will care for you, supplying all your needs; and I am with you all the way, Jehoshua.
20. And by the hand of one, a merchant, going to Jerusalem, he sent this letter on its way.

Meditate on the decision for 5-10 minutes.

Stay within the Sacred Heart of Brother Jesus as you prepare for the third reading. Within these words, hear the parable of new life and old life. Who is calling you back to your old life? Who do you need to redirect to other supports so that you can continue on your new path? What new path is awaiting you if you will simply release the old?

Spend time contemplating this new path within this third reading.

Third Reading:

Chapter 30

Jesus receives news of the death of his father. He writes a letter to his mother. The letter. He sends it on its way by a merchant.

1. One day as Jesus stood beside the Ganges busy with his work, a caravan, returning from the West, drew near.
2. And one, approaching Jesus, said, We come to you from your native land and bring unwelcome news.
3. Your father is no more on earth; your mother grieves; and none can comfort her. She wonders whether you are still alive or not; she longs to see you once again.
4. And Jesus bowed his head in silent thought; and then he wrote. Of what he wrote this is the sum:
5. My mother, noblest of the womankind; A man just from my native land has brought me word that father is no more in flesh, and that you grieve, and are disconsolate.
6. My mother, all is well; is well for father and is well for you.
7. His work in this earth-round is done, and it is nobly done.
8. In all the walks of life men cannot charge him with deceit, dishonesty, nor wrong intent.
9. Here in this round he finished many heavy tasks, and he has gone from hence prepared to solve the problems of the round of soul.
10. Our Father-God is with him there, as he was with him here; and there his angel guards his footsteps lest he goes astray.
11. Why should you weep? Tears cannot conquer grief. There is no power in grief to mend a broken heart..
12. The plane of grief is idleness; the busy soul can never grieve; it has no time for grief.
13. When grief come trooping through the heart, just lose yourself; plunge deep into the ministry of love, and grief is not.
14. Yours is a ministry of love, and all the world is calling out for love.
15. Then let the past go with the past; rise from the cares of carnal things and give your life for those who live.
16. And if you lose your life in serving life you will sure to find in it the morning sun, the evening dews, in song of bird, in flowers, and in the stars of night.
17. In just a little while your problems of this earth-round will be solved; and when your sums are all worked out it will be pleasure unalloyed for you to enter wider fields of usefulness, to solve the greater problems of the soul.
18. Strive, then, to be content, and I will come to you some day and bring you richer gifts than gold or precious stones.
19. I’m sure that John will care for you, supplying all your needs; and I am with you all the way, Jehoshua.
20. And by the hand of one, a merchant, going to Jerusalem, he sent this letter on its way
.

Mediate on this new path for 5-10 minutes.

Re-focus on your breath, feel the ancient world fade away, do not lose the Sacred Heart you experience the story through, for this Sacred Heart was not Brother Jesus’ but is your Sacred Heart that allows the Divine Spark to live within you, and you within it.

Feel your chair/cushion/bench/or pillow again. Feel and experience the smells, sounds and textures of the room you are in. Move your fingers and toes, bring your breathing up to a normal pace through deep cleansing breaths.

Whatever tool you chose for post meditation soul work, take up and create what your new path looks like as you have left the old in the ancient world and are ready to embark upon the new.


Lectio Divina of Tools

Tradition dictates that Poppa Joseph was a carpenter, there is scholarly debate whether this is true, or simply a labourer…what is known is that under Oppression, where his mother was viewed as nothing more than property by Romans, and her own people, Joseph showed progressive love and took in a child that was not his, whether it was truly Divinely conceived, or the by-product of Roman Soldier rape that a vision revealed the blessing this awakened soul would have in his travels in the world is up to your own journey to determine.

But this passage comes after the Christian Canonical story of finding Jesus testing the Holy men in the temple, and their return to Nazareth, and the family workshop. It has Masonic overtones which make sense for the time Levi was writing to resonate with the readers on the truth found in the building blocks, and the universalist outreach intended for this writing, and showing how many different paths had converged in the wisdom of Brother Jesus.

So we are taking this passage as a Divine Reading, a contemplation for your own truth, and if you feel like sharing in the comments what you have learned, feel free.

Get comfortable where you are, breathing deeply in and out, finding peace and centring. Feel the modern world evaporate around you.  Feel the smells, the sounds of a busy Nazareth town come into your life. The dust on your clothes and feet. The smells and textures of the workshop you are in.  You are the Christ Child, learning about the tools.

In this first hearing which tool resonates with you, sit with that for a few moments:

The Aquarian Gospel 20:

After the feast. The homeward journey. The missing Jesus. The search for him. His parents find him in the temple. He goes with them to Nazareth. Symbolic meaning of carpenter’s tools.

1. The great feast of the pasch was ended and the Nazarenes were journeying towards their homes.
2. And they were in Samaria, and Mary said, Where is my son? No one had seen the boy.
3. And Joseph sought among their kindred who were on their way to Galilee; but they had seen him not.
4. Then Joseph, Mary, and a son of Zebedee, returned and sought through all Jerusalem, but they could find him not.
5. And then they went up to the temple courts and asked the guards, Have you seen Jesus, a fair-haired boy, with deep blue eyes, twelve years of age, about these courts?
6. The guards replied, Yes, he is in the temple now disputing with the doctors of the law.
7. And they went in, and found him as the guards had said.
8. And Mary said, Why Jesus, why do you treat your parents thus? Lo, we have sought two days for you. We feared that some great harm had overtaken you.
9. And Jesus said, Do you not know that I must be about my Father’s work?
10. But he went round and pressed the hand of every doctor of the law and said, I trust that we may meet again.
11. And then he went forth with his parents on their way to Nazareth; and when they reached their home he wrought with Joseph as a carpenter.
12. One day as he was bringing forth the tools for work he said,
13. These tools remind me of the ones we handle in the workshop of the mind where things were made of thought and where we build up character.
14. We use the square to measure all our lines, to straighten out the crooked places of the way, and make the corners of our conduct square.
15. We use the compass to draw circles round our passions and desires to keep them in the bounds of righteousness.
16. We use the axe to cut away the knotty, useless and ungainly parts and make the character symmetrical.
17. We use the hammer to drive home the truth, and pound it in until it is a part of every part.
18. We use the plane to smooth the rough, uneven surfaces of joint, and block, and board that go to build the temple for the truth.
19. The chisel, line, the plummet and the saw all have their uses in the workshop of the mind.
20. And then this ladder with its trinity of steps, faith, hope and love; on it we climb up to the dome of purity in life.
21. And on the twelve-step ladder we ascend until we reach the pinnacle of that which life is spent to build–the Temple of Perfected Man.

As you prepare to hear the story a second time, the tool that resonates with you, what images/memories/feelings arise within you centered around that tool? Sit with those, experience those, and release them into the Universe as the truth that Love will embrace in the now.

Hear the teaching a second time:

After the feast. The homeward journey. The missing Jesus. The search for him. His parents find him in the temple. He goes with them to Nazareth. Symbolic meaning of carpenter’s tools.

1. The great feast of the pasch was ended and the Nazarenes were journeying towards their homes.
2. And they were in Samaria, and Mary said, Where is my son? No one had seen the boy.
3. And Joseph sought among their kindred who were on their way to Galilee; but they had seen him not.
4. Then Joseph, Mary, and a son of Zebedee, returned and sought through all Jerusalem, but they could find him not.
5. And then they went up to the temple courts and asked the guards, Have you seen Jesus, a fair-haired boy, with deep blue eyes, twelve years of age, about these courts?
6. The guards replied, Yes, he is in the temple now disputing with the doctors of the law.
7. And they went in, and found him as the guards had said.
8. And Mary said, Why Jesus, why do you treat your parents thus? Lo, we have sought two days for you. We feared that some great harm had overtaken you.
9. And Jesus said, Do you not know that I must be about my Father’s work?
10. But he went round and pressed the hand of every doctor of the law and said, I trust that we may meet again.
11. And then he went forth with his parents on their way to Nazareth; and when they reached their home he wrought with Joseph as a carpenter.
12. One day as he was bringing forth the tools for work he said,
13. These tools remind me of the ones we handle in the workshop of the mind where things were made of thought and where we build up character.
14. We use the square to measure all our lines, to straighten out the crooked places of the way, and make the corners of our conduct square.
15. We use the compass to draw circles round our passions and desires to keep them in the bounds of righteousness.
16. We use the axe to cut away the knotty, useless and ungainly parts and make the character symmetrical.
17. We use the hammer to drive home the truth, and pound it in until it is a part of every part.
18. We use the plane to smooth the rough, uneven surfaces of joint, and block, and board that go to build the temple for the truth.
19. The chisel, line, the plummet and the saw all have their uses in the workshop of the mind.
20. And then this ladder with its trinity of steps, faith, hope and love; on it we climb up to the dome of purity in life.
21. And on the twelve-step ladder we ascend until we reach the pinnacle of that which life is spent to build–the Temple of Perfected Man.

Finally settle in for a third hearing of this story.  During this time you are in the now, what are you being called to do in the now with the tool that resonates with you? In your journey? Your life? You’re living in life?

Hear the third reading:

After the feast. The homeward journey. The missing Jesus. The search for him. His parents find him in the temple. He goes with them to Nazareth. Symbolic meaning of carpenter’s tools.

1. The great feast of the pasch was ended and the Nazarenes were journeying towards their homes.
2. And they were in Samaria, and Mary said, Where is my son? No one had seen the boy.
3. And Joseph sought among their kindred who were on their way to Galilee; but they had seen him not.
4. Then Joseph, Mary, and a son of Zebedee, returned and sought through all Jerusalem, but they could find him not.
5. And then they went up to the temple courts and asked the guards, Have you seen Jesus, a fair-haired boy, with deep blue eyes, twelve years of age, about these courts?
6. The guards replied, Yes, he is in the temple now disputing with the doctors of the law.
7. And they went in, and found him as the guards had said.
8. And Mary said, Why Jesus, why do you treat your parents thus? Lo, we have sought two days for you. We feared that some great harm had overtaken you.
9. And Jesus said, Do you not know that I must be about my Father’s work?
10. But he went round and pressed the hand of every doctor of the law and said, I trust that we may meet again.
11. And then he went forth with his parents on their way to Nazareth; and when they reached their home he wrought with Joseph as a carpenter.
12. One day as he was bringing forth the tools for work he said,
13. These tools remind me of the ones we handle in the workshop of the mind where things were made of thought and where we build up character.
14. We use the square to measure all our lines, to straighten out the crooked places of the way, and make the corners of our conduct square.
15. We use the compass to draw circles round our passions and desires to keep them in the bounds of righteousness.
16. We use the axe to cut away the knotty, useless and ungainly parts and make the character symmetrical.
17. We use the hammer to drive home the truth, and pound it in until it is a part of every part.
18. We use the plane to smooth the rough, uneven surfaces of joint, and block, and board that go to build the temple for the truth.
19. The chisel, line, the plummet and the saw all have their uses in the workshop of the mind.
20. And then this ladder with its trinity of steps, faith, hope and love; on it we climb up to the dome of purity in life.
21. And on the twelve-step ladder we ascend until we reach the pinnacle of that which life is spent to build–the Temple of Perfected Man.

When you are ready, enter into your breathing practice again. Feel the sounds and smells of the town fade, feel the workshop disappear around you. You are the Christ Child, you are love here and now as your modern room reforms around you.

Do a check in with your body, your fingers, toes, rhythmic breathing into the now.

Welcome back Love,

What are you going to do with your tools today?


Birth of Jesus Matthew 2:1

Birth of Jesus Matthew 2:1 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another Advent season has begun. The time when we are to prepare for the birth of Jesus, and yet another Sunday where the point of the Annunciation to Mary of Nazareth by the angel Gabriel was missed.  Within the Protestant tradition we have a tendency to short shift Mary and her role, we reduce her to nothing more than the test tube or incubator for Jesus, but her role was far more active than that.

Just think about this young girl barely into her menstruation,  barely a teenager. Having sat there while her father cut a business deal with Joseph to purchase her (where the idea of Bride Price comes from). Having witnessed the brutality of the Roman Empire, the occupiers of her people. Where girls her age (or any age) were nothing more than property to the soldiers. Not full citizens, they could take and rape them with immunity. If pregnancy happened, even just the losing of their hymen, made them unclean and a shame for their families.

Families that then had choices to either redeem fully their honour through stoning (honour killing) or to put the issue a way quietly just outside the city gates where the lepers, beggars, and sex trade workers existed… a fate that would rapidly end in death by violence, exposure, or sexually transmitted disease. The problem was more compounded once the bride price, or the deal had been made, because now it dishonoured two families. This was the struggle Joesph worked through in the Gospel of Matthew before the Angel Gabriel visited him in a vision.

But we come back to Mary as the Angel Gabriel comes to her (with no back story on how many girls heard this same offer before Mary and said no because they understood the horror of the stigma they were taking upon themselves). Mary stands there, knowing she was no longer her father’s property, but not completely Joseph’s yet (the contract made, but not yet consummated). Mary a young girl who probably bore witness to the execution of other girls dishonoured by the Romans (neigh raped) or disfigured or cast out… the struggles of the widow, the divorcee, the adulteress in this patriarchal culture that reduced the usefulness of a woman to nothing more than her ability to produce male heirs to her male masters.

A young girl who had never been treated as an equal. A young girl who had never had her opinion asked for, or even if it mattered. Yet here was God sending his messenger directly to her, not to Joseph or her Father, but directly to the non-citizen in both nations she existed in (Rome and Israel). And it was in this shocking, counter culture movement of empowerment, where Mary said the yes that began the shaking of the normative oppression. The yes that began the transformation of 51% of humanity from the shadows to equals (and still is continuing). The yes that a young woman for the first time firmly took her life and her life’s call as her own. Blessed among women, Mary was blessed among humanity. A simple step of faith to prove what humanity views as impossible is simply how it is to be.

But we do what her culture did, we tend to relegate Mary to nothing more than a voiceless incubator.

Yet, the story of God and Mary is one of voice and empowerment of the complete image of  God.