Dec 18: Redefining Family
Sunday, December 18, 2016
Many have said, “You never know anyone until you know their whole story.” I would add, “You never know anyone until you’ve met their mother.”
The archetypical image of motherhood is often calm, patient, selfless: The Madonna. I wanted so badly, when I was pregnant, to identify that way. But as time unfolded, I found I had more in common with TV's Roseanne than Mother Mary. It’s the idea of motherhood that often leads to shame when we feel impatient, lost, bewildered, and disillusioned.
Enter Elizabeth, who likely ached with impatience and disillusionment, lost to a world that expected her to conceive.
Enter Mary, bewildered, not yet married, lost to a world that expected the proper order of things.
Both knew shame because of a world that demanded then, as the world does now, to define motherhood, family, and at times, even God.
But God essentially says to heck with a world that thinks it can define anything, let alone these two women.
The world will do it’s best to build restrictive titles for their babies: The Baptist, The Messiah. But like their mothers, we’re to know them without restrictions and without shame.
Enter the Holy Spirit who speaks through heartbeats that live inside their dark wombs – babies they will begin letting go of from the moment they’re born, without apology, for these mothers understand that these hearts beat, not just for them but for all the blessed, and blessed are those…
Blessed are the hearts among all that incubate in Advent darkness, waiting to be born again into a world that will try to define you to fit the world’s needs. Prepare to turn away from the world’s expectations into the fulfillment of God who redefines family through the birth of a baby boy, born especially for us all.
Rev. Nicole Trotter
SFTS M.Div. 2015
Pastor, St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church, San Rafael, CA