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The big question

I have been receiving so much support for my current work in progress, The Magdalene Poems, I feel like I’m riding a wave!  My dear sister Chris after reading my last post about my concern over the slow pace of the work, thought an exquisite e-card would lift my spirits.  She was quite right, as usual.  People who have read some of the poems or even just heard about the new collection have been cheering me on and asking me to put books aside for them once it’s published.  (Might be jumping the gun there just a tad, but I love the confidence it shows!)

So I’ve returned to my work renewed and refreshed, but facing another issue.  I cannot put off asking the big question for much longer – did they or didn’t they?  My research indicates very little support for the idea that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married, but many scholars are surprisingly open to the idea that they could have had a sexual relationship.  Mind you, reaction to the idea in mainstream churches is decidedly negative, and I’m not just speaking of the hierarchy here.  Cynthia Bourgeault, an Anglican priest, describes in her powerful and beautiful book, The Meaning of Mary Magdalene – Discovering the Woman at the Heart of Christianity, the time when she made mention of that possibility in one of her sermons, and the uproar it caused in her congregation.

The problem seems to be, if Jesus had a sexual relationship with someone, then he was not sinless.  Rev. Bourgeault wants her readers to examine the premise behind that statement – that sex is sin; to lay aside all those years of mental conditioning by religious authority, and for a moment just think about what it would mean for our idea about who Jesus was and who we are if that original statement is incorrect, that sex is not sin but gift.  What then?

And that’s the question I’m asking myself as I face the rest of this manuscript – what then?

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