Friday, December 18, 2009

Rory Holland, "Frail Humanity"

I am not all that clear on the history of the Middle East a couple of thousand years ago, but I am going to take a wild guess that it was pretty patriarchal. I am sure it was a Man’s world.

This Advent story then seems somewhat curious. There are the cousins, Elizabeth and Mary – carrying John (who’s handle in the future would include “the Baptist”) and Jesus ( who’d later just be known as “the Lord”) respectively. Then there’s their significant others: Joseph and Zachariah.

Zach loses his ability (or maybe his right) to speak when he questions the pregnancy, and Joseph has to deal with the fact that his soon-to-be-wife got knocked up by someone other than himself. I wouldn’t count on either of these guys getting much love from the boys down at the local Narazene bar for the way they handled their situations in such un-guy like fashions.

But, that’s the way the story goes. You have at the centre a woman’s right to choose, and their men standing, mostly silent, alongside them. Sounds almost post-modern.

To think the Advent story was passed word of mouth for a few years before it got written down – and this how it was shaped?

However, maybe that whole issue was overshadowed by the bigger idea that the God of the Universe had made his grand entrance in our world through the vagina of a young unwed girl out back of a Hotel in some little backwater town a few miles from Jerusalem.

I am not sure it’s all that easy to buy any of this stuff on the merit’s of it’s believability. What keeps me coming back is not the factual truth, but rather the story’s frail humanity – that has endured in a world that places less than no value on such a thing.

from "An Examined Life" | December 1 2009