Christmas Eve, Incarnation, and Knowing Mary

Posted December 12, 2014 by Marg Herder

It’s the 12th again.  The day I post on the Patheos Emerging Voices blog.  Today I’m remembering the Christmas Eve services at the church I attended when I was young.  In doing so I discuss a little of what I am learning from Mary, the mother of the Human One.

"Church in the Moonlight" - Photo by Lisa DeWeeseThe setting was perfection.  Large gothic sanctuary, slate floor, wooden pews with iron candle holders, a hundred soft flames gently illuminating the space. Christmas Eve and Maundy Thursday were the only services conducted by candlelight. The stunning chancel window glowed, Jesus with angels surrounding him, the Ascension. Hundreds of organ pipes framed the rose window in the back.  Timpani, brass, and the choir looked out high above the congregation.

I used to wait the entire year for it.  The most beautiful service.  The most thrilling music.

Even after it was decided that as a lesbian I was not worthy of Jesus, of my church— even after I stopped attending weekly services— I still stubbornly showed up late at night on Christmas Eve.

If I popped into the choir room before they went up to the sanctuary I’d be urged to put on a robe and get a music folder.  They knew me in the choir.  They knew my heart and my voice.  Because I’d grown up in that choir room, in that church, and those people wearing the dark red robes were the inhabitants of the village that raised me.  And for this night only, I would become one of them again.

They were not the ones who deemed me unworthy.  That decision was handed down by a very few, the men who sat in front, wore the black robes, and loved the sound of words.

Read the rest on the Emerging Voices blog on Patheos.

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Marg Herder
Marg Herder is the Director of Public Information for EEWC-CFT, a Christian feminist organization working for gender (and LGBTQIA) justice in Christianity since 1974. She is the content manager and developer of the organization’s website, Christian Feminism Today. Marg identifies as a trans* lesbian writer, musician, and feminist spiritual seeker. She works to draws attention to the ongoing violence directed at women and LGBTQIA people in this “Christian” society, the desperate need for an understanding of God that includes the Divine Feminine, and Christ/Sophia’s desire that each of us move deeper into our own practice of non-violence.

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