a pregnant, unwed teenager…what a story!
A un-wed teenager gets pregnant from God after a visit from an Angel. She is weaving the veil of the temple with a spool of red thread. Her betrothed almost casts her out, but an angel tells him not to. She gets married while she is already pregnant. While she is 9 months pregnant she has to ride on a donkey away from her home. That night there is no where for her stay to deliver her child. No room at the inn. She then delivers him in a cave in a rock surrounded by animals and lays her baby in a hay feeding trough. What must have been going through her mind and heart?
Then kings who have followed a star come from across the world and offer kingly gifts to her little wee one. She ponders all of this in her heart as she nurses her tiny baby God.
Then, imagine the fragility of a new mother at this moment. There is a decree to kill all babies in the land and so she and her baby and her elder husband travel to a foreign land where they know not a soul until the threat of danger is passed which is many many years. She knows it is because of her baby. Imagine how she felt when all children up to the age of two were attempted to be murdered in the land. What sorrow – what fear – what devastation in a time when JOY should be what is felt.
She was not even able to show her baby to her family – or to her cousin Elizabeth or hold baby John. Two cousins destined to work on the same path in life, did not even meet until their mid-thirties, two children who were saved from the massacre.
I find it quite a story regardless of one’s spiritual tradition. Today I honor her and the courage of a teenage mama.
Today is the Synaxis of the Theotokos – honoring the nativity of her giving birth to God. My holidays will continue tonight at the service in her honor. Regardless of it being the most Patriarchal church in the world perhaps, The Orthodox — the reality is also true that they never moved The Blessed Mother off of the altar. And today we honor her – millions all over the world are singing the hymns of a new mother and her little child of light. Tonight I shall pray for you and for me, and to what we are giving birth to together in 2012. If you feel so inclined, you might try to find a service in your own area, it will be by candlelight and she will be chanted to. Google Orthodox Church, your town, USA. Even if it is in Russian or Greek or Serbian, the feeling will come through.
With all my heart — and gratitude to you — my global community whom I adore a part of my very daily breath –
I love you
p.s. my friend just sent me this clip – Breath of Heaven