December 24

By: Rev. Dr. Anastasia E. B. Kidd, Director of Contextual Education & Lecturer, Boston University School of Theology; Co-Pastor, First Parish Truro, UCC

Do not be afraid; for see - I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Sovereign. (excerpt from Luke 2:1-20)


What does the Incarnation mean for our bodies – especially bodies considered outside of society’s norms? The bodies we are told in myriad ways to fear. The bodies that are labeled an epidemic. The bodies that internalize their own oppression and live in the mire of shame. The bodies lacking resources and community to thrive. These bodies ache with longing for Good News.  These are the bodies in which Love is made flesh.

I believe in a big, fat God. A God with pendulous belly hanging low from birthing liberation for all. A God who asks, “you hungry?” And then feeds and feeds some more. A God who wants you to take second helpings, and to make sure your neighbor has a full Tupperware to take home. A God who is satisfied when all of creation has its fill of good things. A God who authors abundance even when the world threatens scarcity. A God who is known to us around a table, breaking bread and pouring wine, feasting on love.

Good News is born this night into precarious, precious flesh – flesh that will be both loved and despised, cherished and devalued, honored and feared.  The Holy becomes flesh, and through this precious precarity, reminds us that all flesh is holy – all shapes and sizes, all genders and expressions, all races and ethnicities, all abilities and disabilities. The angels’ extraordinary disruption echoed in the fields to laborers on yet another night shift. This same “do not be afraid” interrupts still today. Do not be afraid! For a powerful and loving God of abundance outweighs all our fears and brings freedom for all bodies.



Holy, living God, Love-Made-Flesh,
you chose to come to us in the form of a baby,
swaddled in human hands,
powerless and reliant on nurturing community to thrive.
Tonight, may this familiar story teach us to cherish tender, holy flesh,
as you help us to hold you close and open our arms to others,
so that no one need be afraid anymore. Amen.


Artwork: “Dreams Are Stronger Than Fear” by Melanie Cervantes.
Used with permission CC BY-NC-ND
Find more at Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative


“I touch my own skin, and it tells me that before there was any harm, there was miracle.” - adrienne maree brown from Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good

Take Action

Abolition is fat liberation.

  1. Fat liberation is the hoped-for cultural shift to a day when fat people will be free from personal and societal shame because of their body size, have access to dignified and holistic health care, be able to physically access all public spaces, and be free from all forms of structural fat discrimination in society. To learn more, read “Fat Church: Claiming a Gospel of Fat Liberation” by Anastasia Kidd, available through Pilgrim Press.
  2. Discover how structural anti-fatness is rooted in anti-blackness and white supremacy, in “Fearing the Black Body: The Racial Roots of Fatphobia” by Sabrina Strings and “Belly of the Beast: The Politics of Anti-Fatness as Anti-Blackness” by Da’Shaun L. Harrison.
  3. Fat activism seeks to free all people from the oppressive structures of anti-fatness. Want to get involved in fat activism? NAAFA is the premier fat-rights organization working to end discrimination based on body size. Become a member and learn more here.
Discover the abolitionist vision of Fat Liberation with this Self-Study Guide

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