I held Madonna in my hand–a small figure from our Nativity. Her head was slightly bowed; posture tipped forward, as if bowing her heart, as well. I studied her, something of her form speaking to me about myself.

A word came to mind—a strange word, at first. Consensual. It was a consensual pregnancy that led to the birth of Jesus.

Typically, when we hear the word “consensual,” it’s in relationship with the word sex. We speak of two “consenting” adults, agreeing to engage in sexual relations with one another—often illicit sexual relations.

Yet, I heard it here, as well. Consensual pregnancy. Holy Spirit consenting to impregnate. Young virgin consenting to be impregnated. Both with postures low, head’s bowed. One, not considering equality with God something to be grasped. Another, not considering being chosen by God something conceivable.

Protests rose up within her. “But how can this be? I’m a virgin; unworthy; not capable.” Protests rose up within him. “Must I take on human flesh? Leave the heavens of my home; suffer?”

In the end, both said yes.

Giving birth to our dreams today, the ones that impregnate our hearts and imaginations, begins with the same consent on both our parts–God’s and ours. Our being humbled by being chosen; God’s humility in choosing us.

Join the Conversation

What protests rise up within you and me?

Do we have the courage to consent, to say, “Be it unto me as you have said.”?

* * *

My latest blog series is on “Giving Birth to Our Dreams.” Please follow me at http://peregrinejourney.blogspot.com if you are interested in conversation about saying “yes” to the dreams inside you. Read about my latest dream at www.sustainablefaithindy.com

Beth Booram:
Beth Booram has been a lifelong vocational minister in parachurch and local church settings, both mainline and nondenominational. She is an author, spiritual director and healing prayer practitioner, as well as a congregational consultant. She speaks around the country at conferences and retreats on topics related to spiritual formation and Christian leadership. Beth understands the issues that confound many people today and offers a message that is authentic and original; absent of clichés and formulas, while full of wisdom and insight. She is a disarming communicator who draws from a deep reservoir of compassion through her own healing journey and profound encounter with Christ. Beth's presentations are highly creative, often utilizing artistic elements, contemplative exercises, and engaging interaction. Her next book, Awaken Your Senses: Exercises for Exploring the Wonder of God will be released in February with InterVarsity Press. Beth has also written The Wide Open Spaces of God (Abingdon Press, 2007) and Picturing the Face of Jesus (Abingdon Press/April, 2009).
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