There are many ways to tell the Christmas story and I thought you might enjoy this one. Of course the story of Jesus birth is very familiar and has little to do with reindeer pulling sleighs and flakes of snow.
2000 years ago, Mary heard a wispa from the angel Gabriel that she was to be the mother of God’s son. But how could this be? Having a baby out of wedlock would certainly make everyone snicker in the village.
Joseph had to return with Mary to Bethlehem the town where he was born. It was a long journey, and they frequently needed to take time-out. After the tough journey, Joseph desperately tried to find a place to stay, but club after club let them down. ‘No room’ they all said!!
Eventually they were offered the chance to stay in the outhouse of a pub where the baby was born. He was named Jesus, which means ‘Saviour’.
That night some shepherds, heard singing in the sky: ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven and peace on earth’. The shepherds said ‘This is a cause for celebrations; come on, let’s go to Bethlehem and see what has happened there’. When they arrived, they found Joseph, Mary, and the baby in a stable: smelly and dirty, not really a place fit for a King. They however were filled with wonder: ‘Could this be just as the prophet Isaiah eclairs: ‘For a son has been born to us…. and he is named Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace’. It was now getting late, after eight in fact, so the shepherds returned to the hills.
Meanwhile in a far country, some real smarties were busily scanning the galaxy, when they saw a bright star near the milky way. Was it Mars? No, it was a star shining with extraordinary brilliance, way out to the east. The smarties realised that the star signalled the birth of a new King. So they too travelled, and eventually arrived at Herod’s palace. But the new King was not there. Then Herod’s advisors told them:
The prophet Micah eclairs: ‘But you, O Bethlehem… from you shall come forth one who will rule’. So, travelling on their caramels, the wise men came to Bethlehem. They found Joseph, Mary and the child, and offered their bounty – gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
That first Christmas, the lowly and the rich all came together to greet Jesus – some brought gifts, some came just as they were. The good news is that we too can come and meet with Jesus, God incarnate, who came to earth to identify with our humanity, to experience many of the things that we go through in life. He is the mighty God and the Prince of Peace.
Do join us over the Christmas period to celebrate all that the birth of Jesus means for each one of us. You will be very welcome at all our services across the Benefice.
A Prayer for the Christmas Season
Forgive us, Lord, for we know this season so well, its message so familiar, that it no longer moves us, no longer speaks as it once did. Help us to see beyond the festive trappings and traditions to the awesome truth they proclaim: your Word, your Son, your love, your gift – Good News, now and always. Amen