Nativity

Luke 2:4-7; Isaiah 7:14

Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel (which means ‘God with us’).

Descending Theology: The Nativity
by Mary Karr

She bore no more than other women bore,
but in her belly’s globe that desert night the earth’s
full burden swayed.
Maybe she held it in her clasped hands as expecting
     women often do
or monks in prayer. Maybe at the womb’s first clutch
she briefly felt that star shine

as a blade point, but uttered no curses.
Then in the stable she writhed and heard
beasts stomp in their stalls,
their tails sweeping side to side
and between contractions, her skin flinched
with the thousand animal itches that plague
a standing beast’s sleep.

But in the muted womb-world with its glutinous
liquid,
the child knew nothing
of its own fire. (No one ever does, though our
names
are said to be writ down before
we come to be.) He came out a sticky grub,
flailing
the load of his own limbs

and was bound in cloth, his cheek brushed
with fingertip touch
so his lolling head lurched, and the sloppy
     mouth
found that first fullness — her milk
spilled along his throat, while his pure being
flooded her. (Each

feeds the other.) Then he was
left in the grain bin. Some animal muzzle
against his swaddling perhaps breathed him
warm
till sleep came pouring that first draught
of death, the one he’d wake from
(as we all do) screaming.

“God meets us not only in the victory, but also in the mundaneness that is most of life. Where do you want God to “come” today? Where might you have missed his glory in the commonness of life?”

Prayer:
Jesus, thank you for being with us, for making the ordinary glorious. Open our eyes to see you as we go about our day, and give us ears to hear how you might be inviting us to participate with you in building your kingdom around us.
Amen.

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