MembersThe Politics of Christmas

The true Christmas story is one of revolution, upheaval and the kind of redemption that turns worlds upside-down

| Topics: Christmas
Arab Christians take part in the Christmas Parade in the Northern Israeli city of Nazareth, on Christmas Eve. Photo: Anat Hermony/Flash90

We like to think that Christmas has nothing to do with politics. But there it is right at the beginning of the New Testament in the genealogy of Matthew’s Gospel. Did you think Christmas was a chance to get away from all the bickering and cajoling and find some “peace on earth?”

Sorry for shaking your tree, but the Christmas story begins with Matthew highlighting four women in the birth story of Jesus: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth and “her who had been the wife of Uriah.” Putting even one women in the genealogy of a future king would have stood out, but naming four females in the build up to the Messiah’s credentials is an in-your-face call for a fight in the male-dominated patriarchal society of the first century.

But wait, these are not just any women! Three out of the four were not even Israelis. Tamar, Rahab and Ruth are foreign immigrants! And “her who had been the wife of Uriah” (as through trying to hide her identity, but we all know who she is) was married to...

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