In nativity scenes, the figure of Mary stands alone as one who has given birth to Jesus and has been selected for great things in the unfolding of God’s kingdom.

But imagine that at least one midwife was present at the birth of the Messiah.

But imagine that the arrival of God, of love come to meet us, occurred in a climate of both intimacy and community.

But imagine that unknown women were active participants in the birthing anew of God’s promise to “bring good news to the poor, set free the oppressed, and proclaim liberty to captives” (Luke 4:18-19).

Loving God, in this time of waiting, I give thanks for the “hidden figures” in my life – the many women who, through their wisdom, their selfless example, their generous encouragement, and their everyday challenges, are midwives and companions to me in my journey of faith.

Sustaining God, in this time of waiting, I ask your blessing on the women who continue to work collectively and bravely with those on the margins so that all women may rise: to those who work against injustice; who comfort the distressed; who challenge prejudice, violence and environmental destruction; who every day attend to the birthing of the kingdom in their time and place.

Amen.

Prayer adapted from Hidden Figures at Bethlehem by Natalie Acton (text) (video)