I bought “WinterSong: Christmas Readings” by Madeleine L’Engle and Luci Shaw so I could participate in the RevGals book discussion. Well, then I didn’t get it read in time to participate. I still haven’t read all of it. I have read enough of it that the journal entry by Madeleine L’Engle titled “Opposing Parallels” caught my attention. With the sermon for Matthew 1:18-25 only partially formed, this will probably make the cut. Once again, Madeleine L’Engle gets quoted in a sermon
“A group of us from Regent and Vancouver School of Theology went to an excellent production of Much Ado about Nothing at Bard on the Beach. I’ve always loved the play because of Beatrice and Benedick, Beatrice being one of the best, funniest, and warmest of Shakespeare’s women’s roles.
Hero, Beatrice’s cousin, and Claudio come off much less well. Hero is set up by the villain to look as though she is being unfaithful to her fiance on the eve of their wedding. Claudio believes the cruel hoax without question and then, with vicious cruelty, allows the wedding to take place as planned until the moment when the friar asks if anyone knows of any impediment, at which point he brutally and publicly denounces the innocent Hero.
It reminded me of another man whose fiancee seems to have betrayed him at the last minute. Instead of denouncing her, having her stoned — the customary punishment for adultery — he lovingly decides to send her away to some safe place.
And then he is willing to believe the angel who tells him not to be afraid to take the young girl for his wife, for the child within her is from God.”
I wonder if Shakespeare was aware of the opposing parallels?”