We were seated on chairs arranged in a circle in the aptly named Hospitality Room, men and women from Iran, Indonesia, Egypt, Japan, and the U.S. We were reading the Qur’an. Some were Muslims who many people would not consider Muslim; others were Christians who many people would not consider Christian.
Christmas | Nativity of the Lord (Year A)
Proper 1: Isaiah 9:2-7; Psalm 96; Titus 2:11-14; Luke 2:1-14, (15-20). Proper 2: Isaiah 62:6-12; Psalm 97; Titus 3:4-7; Luke 2:(1-7), 8-20. Proper 3: Isaiah 52:7-10; Psalm 98; Hebrews 1:1-4, (5-12); John 1:1-14
I don’t have the nerve to stand up on Christmas Eve and preach about the choreography of childbirth, but I wish I did. I wish I had the nerve to preach about Mary’s increased estrogen production, a few days before birth (estrogen that will soften her cervix, and help her blood coagulate after delivery). I wish I had the nerve to preach about Mary’s and Jesus’ pituitary glands producing oxytocin, which in turn allows Mary’s contractions to accelerate.
There are many ways we receive the gift of Jesus badly. Luke’s insistence on Jesus’ Jewish lineage points to one: we receive the gift and insist that it be withdrawn from the first recipients.