I have heard people claiming that love and goodness is not about Christianity but about human potentiality.
This is 100% right.
And 100% wrong.
And therein lies the paradox of the Incarnation.
When Jesus came to earth she was not an imperial sycophant. No, when she showed up she showed up as a Jew in an oppressed part of the Roman Empire. In reality s/he was probably born in Nazareth to so called “illegitimate” parents, with a peasant-girl mother.
Yes, they really did suffer great hardships.
Don’t believe me? Check out this documentary on Mary. That’s right, the malestream media didn’t like what they saw.
However, while Jesus may not have been historically born in Bethlehem, he was born in the symbolic Bethlehem of our hearts.
And that’s what really matters at Christmas.
Jesus may have looked like a Middle Eastern person. But that’s only reading the radical birth narrative on one level.
Jesus cannot be reduced to white, black or mixed race. On a radical symbolic level Jesus was, and is, black, white and yellow.
And that’s not because we read the Bible with modern eyes, but because we read with radically ancient eyes.
Modern scholarship has shown that Solomon didn’t really compose the Song of Songs. One of the best reasons is that Solomon was probably patriarchal – the Bible doesn’t shy away from a warts ‘n’ all history – and the Song is anything but, contrary to what both the hard and soft complementarians will tell you.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
It is more likely that Song of Songs was composed by a loving couple (whose sexual orientation we cannot establish with certainty) where both partners initiate the lovemaking. As the loving couple say: “I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or the wild does: do not stir up or awaken love until it is ready!” (Song of Songs 2.7)
And what’s really amazing is that they composed this beautiful poem of sexual equality 2,500 years before liberal democracy.
But Song of Songs only foreshadows something even greater. Jesus also came along with a message of radical sexuality and she shocked the Jews who had never heard anything like it ever before. Even the Apostle Paul, so often misunderstood by hard and soft complementarians alike, urged couples of all sexual orientations and none, all religions and none, to engage in mutual love sharing. Just read carefully his first Corinthian correspondence, especially chapter 7, and you’ll find it flat out contradicts the misogynist church leaders.
I encourage all Sistaz in the Son who encounter misogynistic exegesis from church leaders and biblical scholars from the malestream to reflect on Rachel Held Evans’ meditations on Christmas and Mary. Rachel radically rescues the Bible from fundamentalism, sexism, imperialism, and racism. Like her reading of Mary, she has so much to teach us.
And she turns the system on its head.
She has capitalized on her hugely popular blog by encouraging advertisers to support her efforts, especially if they have “a long term advertising and branding strategy”. She suggests that “it’s better to purchase your placement sooner rather than later as we occasionally increase the prices as the site grows.”
Have a blessed Christmas and don’t forget to identify with The Poor and The Marginalized for at least this most sacred – and profane – day of the year.