Maybe you’ve seen one of those mobile slogan signs outside a church, urging you to “put the Christ back in Christmas.” Sure, the season’s all about sales; we’re overloaded with ads, trips to the mall and credit card charges.
Still, there’s a key figure in this Yuletide season who’s largely overlooked.
Mary. God’s baby-mama.
The woman who took it on faith from the angel Gabriel that she and her big belly would give birth to a savior. As in Luke, 1:28-38—
And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God.
And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus.
And Mary said…be it unto me according to thy word.
What if Mary had dismissed that angel as a crazy daydream? “I’ve just got to stop hearing those voices.”
What if she stood in front of the mirror for the next nine months and pouted? “Look at my belly! I’m getting so fat. No matter how hard I work out, no matter how much I diet, I just can’t get rid of this belly.”
What if she laced up her shapewear all the more tightly? What if she got busy scraping up the money for a tummy tuck?
What if, on Christmas eve, she finally accepted the fact that she was pregnant with God—and balked? “Oh, no. Sorry, I’m not ready yet. Some other time.”
Now here’s the question that interests me. What if we—women and men; with and without children; wanting and never wanting offspring—know ourselves to be Mary?
Mary gave birth, yes, to Jesus. Jesus Christ. More to the point, she gave birth to Christ consciousness. What’s that? The evolutionary impulse to expand our human capacity for compassion, wisdom, love. The ability to expand our embrace to include more and more in our experience of union. In other words, world-saving grace.
Christ consciousness grew in Mary’s belly. Mary gave birth to Christ consciousness from her womb.
Just so, within each of us—within our bellies, within our body’s center—dwells a concentration of life force, vital energy. This pro-creative power not only brings children into the world. Directed by intention and love, this life-affirming power promotes creation in any dimension we choose.
Women and men around the world have learned to cultivate this power through movement and breath as structured by healing rites, spiritual practices, traditions of dance.
The knowing encoded in these rites, practices, and traditions has not expired. It remains with us in our bellies, our blood and our bones. It’s available to us now as a thread connecting humanity through time. It’s the technology, so to speak, that allows you to formulate and manifest the world-saving grace that only you can birth.
Like Mary, we each are pregnant with God. That belly of yours? No matter the size or shape, she’s sacred.
Listen. Mary Christmas! An angel is trying to tell you something.
How are you going to respond?
Lisa Sarasohn is the award-winning author of The Woman’s Belly Book: Finding Your True Center for More Energy, Confidence, and Pleasure (New World Library, 2006). For book excerpts, articles, poems, and workshop information, visit her site!