Joy to the World

One of my favorite classes in seminary was Storytelling.  One particular assignment we had for that class was to make up a story based on the painting handed to us.  The painting I was given was a picture of the Nativity scene.  Here’s the story I told as inspired by that scene.

My best friend Mary got married two and a half years ago, and about five weeks ago, she had a baby.  Her husband left me a voicemail message in the middle of the night, and when I woke up in the morning and listened to the message, he just yelled, “It’s a girl! It’s a girl!”  Now, I was a little frustrated with her because she is supposed to be my best friend and didn’t even tell me she was pregnant.  We’ve fallen a little out of touch since I moved across the country, but I still expected to know about the milestones in her life.

I waited a few days to give them time to adjust to being new parents and then gave her a call back to get the whole scoop.  We’ve always told each other all the gory details about everything, so I asked her what it was like having a baby. “How did it happen?” I asked.  “Where were you when your water broke?  What hospital did you go to?  Tell me everything!”

I could hear the fatigue thick in her voice as she tried to answer my questions.  Finally, she said, “You know, I’m so tired right now I can’t think of anything to tell you.  I just remember this one moment.  I had been pushing and screaming and screaming and pushing, and when she came out, before they cleaned her off or cut the cord or anything, the doctors just propped her up on my chest.  In that moment, I could have done it again six times over.  I was just so overwhelmed with emotion for my little baby.”

By this time, I was going to be late for my next class, and I knew she needed to take a nap while the baby was sleeping. “Well, I’ll talk to you later,” I said. I was about to hang up when I remembered my the most important question.

“Oh by the way, what’s your baby’s name?” I asked.

And she said, “Joy.”

 The angel said to them, I bring you good news of great joy for all people.  Today a baby has been born to you, a Savior who is Christ the Lord.  (Luke 2)

The Word became flesh and lived among us. (John 1)

As we prepare for Christmas during this Advent season, let’s not lose sight of the very real physicality of the Emmanuel–God with us.  This is the very basis of body theology.

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About Laura K. Cavanaugh

I'm a writer, spiritual director, and advocate of holistic body theology.

Posted on December 18, 2011, in Identity, Incarnation of Christ and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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