Pregnant for 25 days

The Marthoma Syrian Church observes the 25 day lent beginning today.

For those of you (especially males) who would like to experience perhaps what it is like being pregnant, the '25 days lent' is here. This lent, begins today and ends with a feast on the 25th (Christmas!). The idea of a lent during this time is more like a preparation for the birth of Christ. One big drama - in which the whole church enacts (year after year) the wait for the birth of Jesus the Christ. Going by the Bible readings for the Advent which began in November, we are expected to imagine being pregnant with Christ, so that Jesus is born (once again) in the 'Bethlehem of our hearts' (that line is from the Sedra prayer in the Marthoma Christmas liturgy!). The advent readings featured a young lady pregnant by the Holy Spirit before the marriage is even consummated (Mary) and a pregnant lady, seemingly past her age to conceive (Elizabeth) and their deeply joyous meeting together, resulting in a fabulous song called the Magnificat (with rich spiritual and political undertones). Thus the birth of Jesus Christ is not without drama, in fact, we re-enact the whole drama every year, tirelessly. John 1:14 says the Word became flesh and lived among us ("incarnation"). It is the ancient Church Father (130-202 CE), Irenaus, who said that God had "become what we are, that He might bring us to be even what He is Himself." In other words: in order to help us realise that we are godly, beautiful, divine creations. And oh, perhaps, that we needn’t tear gas our own brothers and sisters who feed us just because they protested laws that favoured the rich; the very laws that would be detrimental not only to their lives but also ours.
The lent is a call to rediscover the signature of God on us, as revealed in Jesus Christ, who is fully God and fully human.

So an idea would be to set aside more time to contemplate what this drama means, participate in it and keep ourselves away from the blemish that takes away the divine nature we were created with. That means a bye to jealousy, hatred, hopelessness, uncontrolled anger, abusive relationships and a myopia towards the ones who are struggling or in need. Take care of the other and yourself imagining you all are pregnant with the saviour of the world so that he may be born and may live in our hearts. That’s a way to be truly human. Blessed Advent!

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