Women and the Christmas Story (some things to consider)

Many have heard the Christian Christmas story about Jesus, the King of Kings, Prince of Peace, Messiah, Savior of the world being born as a baby and placed in a manger. (No, he wasn't born in a manger. Mary probably wouldn't have fit in a manger so I don't know where that statement comes from.) 

There are many strange, awe-inspiring, miracles aspects of the Christmas story but I like to talk about the patriarchy and such these days so, of course, I'm writing a blog post about the woman of the Christmas story. Here are some things about the women of the Christmas story you might want to consider. 


  1. I would argue that Jesus being born of a virgin wasn’t because He would have been imperfect being born of a woman who had had sex, but was to uplift the autonomy of a woman by giving her the task of carrying, growing, and birthing the savior with no help from a man whatsoever. Not only was Mary chosen as the woman who would carry and birth the savior of the world, but she did so as no one’s property. God chose a free woman. 
  2. Mary’s pregnancy interestingly mirrors something about Jesus. The impossibility of Mary being both mother and virgin at the same time foreshadows the impossibility of Jesus being both man and God at the same time. 
  3. Jesus’ ministry, especially those days leading up to His death, mirror the steps taken in a Jewish betrothal ceremony. Mary was betrothed to Joseph, a man from the line of King David, at the time of Jesus’ conception. This is yet another way Mary’s life before Jesus was born mirrored Jesus’ life as a man.
  4. Mary is often portrayed as obedient, submissive, mild, and meek. Although she attains these qualities, I find it interesting that her voice is the one Jesus listens to right before He begins His ministry. It is his mother’s voice that sparks the very beginning of Jesus’ ministry. 

    In John 2 we read about the wedding at Cana where Jesus performed His first miracle of turning water into wine. Verses 3-5 show us Mary’s part in that. 

    3 When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” 4 And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

  5. Mary was there for more than His birth. She was there for His entire childhood, His ministry, His death, his burial, and His resurrection (well...after it anyway.) Although we do not know if she was present for His ascension into heaven, it is quite possible that she was. This woman was witness to it all, and she is the only human in the Bible who witnessed Jesus in all stages of His human life.
  6. Mary had more to worry about than just a divorce and embarrassment when people found out she was unmarried and pregnant at the same time. She would have been stoned to death according to the Levitical Law. Joseph or any other man would have never married her if she somehow did survive. She would have either had to resort to prostitution, begging, or both. She would have been a social outcast, considered a whore, less than human. Less than cattle, even. But even with all of these fears, Mary chose to obey God. In doing so, she defied the patriarchal world around her. 
  7. The women of the Christmas story were given all the choices, the words to say, and the story to birth. Men were silenced (literally…well, one of them was.) Miracles were performed through these women. Elizabeth conceived Jesus’ forerunner John the Baptist in her old age. Mary conceived Jesus as a virgin. When Mary needed help, she went to her aunt Elizabeth. She consulted a woman, not a man. Not her father, not her betrothed. 

As always, thank you for reading and feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns. 

Much love,