It doesn’t matter what you believe about Jesus or religion, the Christmas story is pretty fantastic!
It starts with two ordinary young people, Joseph and Mary. They are engaged to be married and probably pretty excited about starting life together. One day Mary turns up pregnant. Joe knows he isn’t the dad and, we can imagine, struggled a bit with Mary’s explanation. Imagine the conflict they must have felt. Next, they had to travel to some small town because of some stupid bureaucratic law and when they got there, there wasn’t even one lousy motel room available. She was ready to give birth, they were stuck in a barn…it was a pretty miserable situation all the way around!
Isn’t this the way life seems sometimes? Dreams for the future, disappointment, conflict, inconvenience, annoyance, pain and suffering, joy and excitement all balled up together. Life can be such a mixed bag. There is much about our lives that is quite ordinary even during the holidays.
But this night was different from all others since the beginning of time. It was almost as if, until this night, all that existed was ordinary life. Suddenly, angels appeared on the hillsides. Wisemen from a far land brought priceless gifts. It was as if a vail between our regular lives and a bigger world beyond ours came together for a moment and the world could no longer dismiss what it had seen.
Of course, the Bible tells us these worlds merged to demonstrate the uniqueness of that child in the barn. He was to be the one who would reconcile these two worlds to one another once and for all time.
Whether you believe that or not, I am certain that from time to time you actually see past your ordinary life to the one that is beyond. You might catch a glimpse in a Christmas carol, your family gathered around the table, a gift you were given by someone who truly loves you, or in a child’s excitement. The other world is never far from you. It is the world of truth, goodness, beauty, kindness, and love. I hope you see it clearly this Christmas.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!