The Son of God and an Unwed Mother

Epiphany the adoration of the babeToday is the day of Epiphany, a surprisingly complex holiday that celebrates different things depending on what flavor of Christian you are. In Eastern Christianity, it is a day (usually 13 days later) celebrating the baptism of Jesus. In Western Christianity, it is a day celebrating the visit of the Magi, representing the revelation of God to the nations in the form of his Son (also known as Three Kings Day).

I know within my tribe (Churches of Christ) we don’t typically observe the Christian calendar that is celebrated in mainline churches and among Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox church and sometimes I think we miss out. It makes me wonder what calendar do we observe? Are we better off celebrating our consumer culture’s calendar which tells us what to buy for? (Rant over. Maybe I need to write a blog about that some other time)

It’s January 6th and many of us are putting our Christmas decorations away. If you live in the municipality where I live, you need to get your Christmas tree out to the curb by 7 am tomorrow or you will be taking care of it yourself. Christmas is fading back into the background we are getting back into our routines: Where are the kid’s backpacks and lunch bags? Who’s driving the kids to school on Monday? Then along comes a holiday that reminds us that the arrival of the Son of God is not something that everybody can just put back in a box.

A Very Relevant Christmas Volume 6

Relevant Magazine releases an album of Christmas music each year from contemporary Christian artists and this year’s album (Volume 6 download here) had an interesting song that stuck with me this year. It’s entitled “Unwed Mother” by the band Hoyle.

Give it a listen (click here to hear the song) and consider the unexpected ways Jesus’ arrival for you doesn’t fit back into the box it came in.

Unwed Mother by Hoyle
Here’s how it started,
An angel’s at your door
He’s at your bed
You know, he said,
“You’re going to have a boy. Don’t be scared.”

See how they noticed.
How the people talked. How they stared!
They said, “You know. You can take her home, but you can’t leave her there.”

Mary, are you out with your boys tonight?
Are you chasing the shadows or picking up numbers?
Mary, are you out with your boys tonight?

Go now be counted
To the place your father rests his head
You know, they said.
“There’s not a vacancy. Not a single bed.”
A holiday unto me!
A rugged hut and some feed.
A labored mother pushing and turning
Who to be counted? God with us. The son of man.

Mary, are you out with your boy tonight?
Are you watching your baby sleep? Guarding that mystery?
Mary, are you out with your boy tonight?
Are you seeing those angels sing? Hide him away from kings!
Mary, are you out with your boy tonight?
Are you watching those shepherd’s sheep? Watching those wise men teach?
Mary, are you out with your boy tonight?

Come, O Come Emmanuel. What a name! God with us.
You said, You would meet us here, but no one else expected this.
The son of God and an unwed mother
In a barn out there’s a Christmas brighter
So come now and bring all joy’s good tidings
In a barn see God’s good finding

Mary, are you out with your boy tonight?
Are you hearing those people sing? Seeing the gifts they bring?
Mary, are you out with your boy tonight?



One thought on “The Son of God and an Unwed Mother

  1. Thanks, Noel…I’ve missed Ephesians 2 Eight!!
    Good thoughts, for sure! As Grandpa used to say, “don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater”… 🙂


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