Jesus had two dads...or did he?
Christmas is hard for me. I don't mean the holiday. I mean the story. It's hard to wrap my head around it, and I know I'm not alone.
It all starts with Jesus' conception. In a society where we constantly have to talk about consent, trying to make it as simple as a cup of tea, how can we be okay with Gabriel coming to tell Mary, "Oh hey, yeah, God's gonna make a baby with you!" Notice that Gabriel doesn't ask. God doesn't ask. To me, this story reads like the high school quarterback's sidekick coming to tell one of the cheerleaders, "Yo...my boy thinks you're cute, so he's gonna put the moves on you at the party tonight." Thanks for the warning? And obviously, Mary's totally cool with it because who wouldn't want to get it on with the coolest guy in school?!
Do you see how this is problematic? Plenty of authors have delved into this story, trying to come to terms with it. My personal favorite, as always, comes from Reverend Fem. (If you haven't checked out her writing yet, you really should - it's fantastic!) So I don't just want to repeat what others have done, but this whole thing did get me thinking about my views on the Bible.
I don't take the Bible literally on pretty much anything.
I don't believe God is male. In fact, I often view God as female or genderqueer.
I tend to believe we never get the entire story through the Bible. It's kind of like the movie-version of a great book - it leaves a lot out.
So why would I take this story literally? Why would I view God as a man not asking for consent? And why would I assume this is the whole story?
Did you see the recent news about the UK allowing "three-parent" babies? Or the church sign that says, "Jesus had two dads, and he turned out just fine." Or the stories of the many trans and genderqueer parents who conceive and give birth all the time?
God doesn't put limitations on the human experience. In fact, God is infinitely creative. So why would this story be any different? It was probably a very confusing narrative for the authors of the Bible, so it's quite possible they simplified it not only for their audiences but for themselves as well.
This Christmas, let's take a moment to remember that God gave us the ultimate story of a messy family: three parents (two moms, two dads, or somewhere else on the gender spectrum) and a blended family complete with a "step" parent and "half" siblings. No matter what your family looks like, no matter who you are or who you love, God adores you and truly did create you in God's own image.