Photos are a way to view the world. A moment frozen in time; a memory for photographer, and story to a viewer. Many of us take thousands of pictures nowadays. As cameras have become more accessible, more of us capture small moments of the world.
Nevertheless, a day over 2000 years ago was not captured in photo glory. Words are the only way now to help weave the picture of the moment a baby boy was born into a stable. Vulnerable, innocent, and God’s own son.
Last year I wrote a blog post comparing my birth story with a wholly different birth narrative. You can find it here. This year I want to capture just another small piece to the jigsaw.
As something as important as a birth can require big announcements. When my daughter was born, well actually well before she was born, my husband and I had an in depth conversation (yes, we are boring) about how and when we would announce the birth of our little one. Was it to be by announcement in the paper, or through social media? Was it to be by mass text, or simple word of mouth? What we both felt comfortable with was important.
Something we didn’t consider was announcing her birth through ANGEL or STAR. (I feel I have had to capitalise these just to make sure you really understand how crazy that seems). Nor did we really ever expect to not be in control of that information.
As a new, young Mum lay in unsanitary conditions having just giving birth to a baby (he may be the Son if God but I highly doubt he was any less painful than any other birth), someone else was taking the pleasure of making sure all the strangers she didn’t necessarily want to know anyway, hear about the birth of her son.
Social media in some small way is all about control. To some extent you can control who you are and what information you wish to display about yourself or when you want to release that information. You only have to look to the programme ‘The Circle’ to see how true that can be.
For Mary throughout the whole of her story there was very little control for her. She did not choose this path or probably expect it but it was a path chosen for her. She probably didn’t expect to give birth in a stable or to have many people want to visit her baby while she was still trying to get used to the idea of being a Mum. She probably didn’t expect angels or stars to be the message on the birth of her baby boy. But throughout all of this she did have trust. Trust in a God who loved her.
When we give out our information on social media there is no trust. No idea of who could use that information or abuse it. We live in wholly different time but we will always be able to trust God.
As we enter this Christmas season we must remember that a picture may paint a thousand words but it is words from thousands of years ago that bring us here today.