Not wishing in any way whatsoever to put any kind of downer on the new royal birth – indeed our house is currently full of the wonder and chaos of having a new baby – I came across this article recently in The Independent.
When Ellie House pretended she was pregnant whilst studying at university she was amazed at the response. People could not cope.
All over the world there was wonder and anticipation regarding the new royal baby, but in the university corridors, in spite of the rampant sex, pregnancy was something totally alien. Embarrassing. Shocking.
The great irony about the birth of another coming king, Jesus of Nazareth, is that his mother’s pregnancy had more in common with the experience of Ellie House, than with Kate Middleton. Mary would have been the talk of the town, behind her back. She would not have been celebrated in the global press and would have brought no feelgood factor to the streets, shops and pubs. Like Ellie House, Mary of Nazareth’s impending baby would have been an embarrassment, and more, a crime. And a punishable one. Which puts me in mind of another news story this week. That of Marte Delelve, the Norwegian woman in Dubai who was charged with unlawful sex after going to the police and telling them she had been raped. Rather than finding help and comfort after being attacked, she found herself facing the terrible injustice of sixteen months in prison. The good news is she has been freed this week. Mary’s predicament was in some ways similarly precarious. Carrying the child of God she was in danger of being attacked by people who believed they would be fulfilling the law of their day. The people she was trying to help. Yet a single mother was not welcome in the streets of Nazareth. In the end she took refuge with someone who understood, her pregnant cousin.
The news of baby George has been great this week, it’s heartening to see the media obsessed with good news rather than bad. But it’s remarkable too to think how different it was for Mary and her royal baby. A son is given… and those involved experience difficulties and trauma, as well as wonder and joy.