The double standard is alive and well during the Christmas season. I just returned from my first shopping venture in a shopping mall in many, many years. It still is not a pleasant experience. What made it even more unpleasant was overhearing a conversation between two Christian women. I think they didn’t get the memo about God mixing everything up in the birth of Jesus. If their judgmental conversation was any indication of the status of their hearts, they are missing out on the joy and good will toward all that usually softens most hearts.
Apparently, a prominent church family’s teenage daughter is pregnant. If that wasn’t bad enough for them, they are even more appalled that she is considering an abortion. Now, “she is going to be a murderer on top of being a girl with no moral compass whatsoever. And what does that say about her family? Should her father really be in a position of leadership in the church?”
I wanted to throw up.
More than thousand years ago, another teenage girl found herself pregnant.
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her. ~ Luke 1:26-38
Double standard is defined as “a rule or principle that is unfairly applied in different ways to different people or groups.” We know double standards exist everywhere. God, however, doesn’t have double standards and has been working through humanity for over two thousand years to eradicate the double standard.
Pregnant, unwed Mary is key to the Christmas story. What about this modern-day teenage girl who was the subject of gossip? What about her?
Sometimes I forget that the Christmas story is rooted in the real lives of real people. God inserted God’s self into the nitty gritty of their lives. I know I’m supposed to want God in the nitty gritty of my life, but do I? Help my ponder that in my heart. Amen.