A WONDROUS BIRTH


Neither Paul nor Mark report a wondrous birth
It is a story concocted in later years
to present a message for their time
which we misunderstand

Matthew's Gospel starts with a geneology for Jesus
laying down his need to fit this story into a scriptural context.
Is it wasted when he then denies that Joseph was the baby's father
Illogical? No, he was making his points not telling literal history

He follows by demonstrating the importance of this event
It was to be a virgin birth, mirroring pagan accounts of the birth of gods
satisfying the concept of sex being somehow impure, which continues to this day
The birth was announced, as in Egyptian legends, by divine proclamation
Important figures from the mysterious East came to pay homage
all painting a portrait, introducing Matthew's theme.

Luke's Gospel presents a different image.
After claiming precedence over other accounts
(which we are allowed to know of only one)
he presents a much less lofty story
of family relationships
a peasant society

A story of shepherds not important travellers
yet still stories with an agenda, metaphore not fact,
for shepherds do not abandon their sheep , nor see such visions;
Caesar did not assemble people to ancestral homes
nor force pregnant brides to lengthy journeys
and all the first readers knew that
they understood what we have lost
with our literal mindset.



This birth was important; a challenge to be faced
for it presents us with a choice, spelt out in the gospels
introduced by the legend and metaphore of "baby Jesus"
The stories ask us, and challenge us to respond
"Where is your loyalty?" "where is your peace?"
"do you follow Jesus or Caesar?"
"who is your Lord?"




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