Soon after I started high school, one of the girls I knew “went away to an aunt’s place.” A few years later she shared the rest of the story. Stephen Lewis, while Canada’s UN ambassador, challenged us to evaluate all nations’ foreign policy by its impact on women and children. “As soon as a war starts, so does the raping of women and slaughter of young children.”
One cold bitter December noon, my internship supervisor toured me through his church’s downtown neighbourhood. A very young mother with her newborn infant and an elderly woman took a table near us at the corner caf. We heard pain in her story and saw joy in her face, but they did not come to the Christmas service. Neither did the hockey mom, whose baby I baptized in a secret after-Christmas service, ever return to church while I was pastor. Surely all the threats, shame and secrecy of these women and infants were also part of Mary’s life. Yet she returned to her home to deliver the baby Jesus, and continues to this very day to help us glimpse the daily grace of living in the incomprehensible depths of God’s favour in her child, the Son of God, Jesus.
Son of Mary, help us celebrate your mother's Christmas. Amen. — RB