Don’t Bloody Forget!
This is the one who came by water and blood: Jesus Christ. – 1 John 5:6a (CEB)
I could be wrong (go ahead and let me know) but none of the hymns we sing during the Christmas season contain verses about the messiness of childbirth. There are no lyrics put to music to describe the water breaking, the pain-filled groans, or the screams of agony that often accompany the labor process … and the blood. So much blood.
While there have been many debates regarding an “immaculate conception,” I think we can agree that Mary’s delivery was just as messy and bloody as any other childbirth. Though fully divine, Jesus did not enter into the world fresh and clean with a halo around his head holding up the peace sign. Fully human, Jesus was born wet and slimy and attached to his mother with an umbilical cord that had to be cut – like any other baby. And like most newborns, I am sure Jesus’ cry could be heard to high heaven as he tested out his lungs.
Today, as we continue to celebrate Mary’s baby, the One born out of God’s love for the world, let us remember that we too come from this love and for the sake of the world.
God of water and blood, babies and lulling cattle, may the true Spirit of Christmas lead us back to our call as stewards of your creation. Amen and ashé.
Marilyn Pagán-Banks (she/her/ella) is a queer womanist freedom fighter gratefully (though not always gracefully) serving as executive director of A Just Harvest, Senior Pastor at San Lucas UCC, and adjunct professor at McCormick Theological Seminary. She is a joyful contributor to The Words of Her Mouth.