God Receives

I love this poem by Kaitlin Hardy Shetler, and I’d like to share it with you today.

A Real Scandal of the Birth of God (A Christmas Poem)
by Kaitlin Hardy Shetler

sometimes I wonder
if Mary breastfed Jesus.
if she cried out when he bit her
or if she sobbed when he would not latch.

and sometimes I wonder
if this is all too vulgar
to ask in a church
full of men
without milk stains on their shirts
or coconut oil on their breasts
preaching from pulpits off limits to the Mother of God.

but then i think of feeding Jesus,
birthing Jesus,
the expulsion of blood
and smell of sweat,
the salt of a mother’s tears
onto the soft head of the Salt of the Earth,
feeling lonely
and tired

and i think,
if the vulgarity of birth is not
honestly preached
by men who carry power but not burden,
who carry privilege but not labor,
who carry authority but not submission,
then it should not be preached at all.

because the real scandal of the Birth of God
lies in the cracked nipples of a
14 year old
and not in the sermons of ministers
who say women
are too delicate
to lead.

2 thoughts on “God Receives

  1. Renee, thank you for distributing such a wonderful poem. It was fresh and stimulating.

    We should praise and thank God for Mary mother of Jesus. How could Jesus have grown up to be so courageous, compassionate and loving if Mary had not treasured and loved her child Jesus with unsurpassing courage, compassion and loving–all beyond our capacity to even understand of the best and most loving mothers? And this must have starting before the child could even had any conceptual understanding?

    And don’t tell me that Jesus was so amazing in love and courage simply because he was God. Jesus is not God. The trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) is God! And the first doctrines of the church affirmed that Jesus was both fully God and fully human–without implying any contradiction. And those who pressed our theologians have got them to proclaim that God should not be limited to being thought of as neither male nor female. Even though those of us who are male seem to forget that in our prayers and worship.


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