Because of the language and traditional imagery, we’ve lost the women other than Mary who were involved in the birth story:
- Any women tho helped Mary with the birth. There are apocryphal books that talk about them, but it can also be assumed she had some local midwife to help, even if she was staying in a cave or stable. First time mother giving birth to the most important child in the world after a few days donkey ride, by herself? Perish the thought!
- Shepherdesses. Shepherds are not necessarily all male. I could just see some angel watching for a group to be sure there aren’t any women near before the announcement can be made. Ready . . . Oh, wait, there’s a woman there . . . hold those trumpets!
- Wise Women. From what we know of the cultures and nations East of Israel, we can safely assume that not all of them were Wise “Men”. The idea that women can’t be wise enough to foresee and travel to praise the newborn King of Kings is a Dark Ages Christian idea.
- Mary’s mother. How much did it take to support publicly, or even to your circle of friends, your pregnant yet virginal (and yes, she may have checked) daughter? To let her daughter go off when so pregnant with the chance she might not be able to be there to help with the birth of the prophecied child?
No matter what our life situation, we can all be included in feeling some part of the story of the birth of the Christ, even if our role isnt specifically mentioned in scripture. To everyone it was a time of great joy, a joy we can all share.