Do you turn the sacred day of Christmas into a cheerful, warm, be of good will, everybody be nice (for just one day), happy ending for everyone, Disney kind of a story? Disney has fairy godmothers that wave their wand to make everything magically wonderful. God has angels. It is an angel who announces that Elizabeth will bear a son & that many will rejoice at His birth & there will be joy & gladness. The entire countryside is talking about Elizabeth & her healed womb. Her labor is attended by midwives with family close by. John’s birth is celebrated. She got the fairy tale. When Mary is visited by an angel, she is initially greatly troubled, but she responds as a servant to God & accepts the angel’s pronouncement regarding her conception. She runs to Elizabeth, her cousin, knowing that an angel brought her similar tidings. Elizabeth believes her & celebrates with her, but the world does not. Mary’s pregnancy is shrouded in shame. An engaged woman who becomes pregnant is an adulteress & can be stoned to death. Even though only Joseph needed to travel for the census, he takes Mary with him. Did he want to spare her the stares, the gossip, or the judgement of the town & family in his absence? While they are in Bethlehem, Mary gives birth. There are no midwives, no family & no celebration. Except…the heavens open & the angels appear to “bring tidings of great joy for all the people!” “A Savior is born!” The glory of the Christ Child has shone through His birth. His life is so important that time is split in two. Our historical calendar reflects that in BC & AD.
Keep Christmas sacred. This year take time to turn from the Disney version of the Christmas story with its familiar, folksy, soft feelings. Don’t get lost in the snowy winter magical scenes with deer & cardinals, Christmas cards, eggnog, gifts & holiday parties! Ask yourself, why did Jesus come into the world? Why did He come in such humble beginnings? He came to be like you, for you, an outpouring of God’s great love & hope for you. Your Savior, this Baby, headed to Calvary.