Monday, December 25, 2006

and she brought forth her first-born son

There are some who will tell you that Mary was not only a virgin, but that the birth of Jesus was painless. I guess that is no more preposterous than my believing that God, out of love, freely chose to be incarnated in human form.

But then each person's threshold for tolerance of the absurd is different, and my own experience with birth was that it was messy and painful. I was not a virgin (obviously) and it was still a long and excruciating labor. For my first-born I was gassed out for the actual birth, so I didn't feel that, but I woke up in pain, and was in pain for days after. For my second child, I opted for drugs injected straight into my spine... I was a wimp, but I wanted to be awake for the delivery.

To me, saying that this special birth was painless, is like saying the nails in Jesus hands and feet didn't hurt when he was crucified. Human beings feel pain when their bodies are ripped apart (for any reason), why would we think Mary's body would be exempt? Her heart was not exempt from breaking when her son was arrested and sentenced and executed... compared to losing your child, bearing that child would be the easy part.

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