What about Christmas?

That time of year when we reflect on the manger. The baby. CHRIST. But it has dawned on me that the manger is empty. The few who knew, who saw, who met the Messiah are long gone. Their faith though rings true even today. A baby born of a virgin. Mind-boggling! But true. A baby born to an elderly couple. Impossible! But true! Prophecy fulfilled at its best. We see the lowest of lows and the richest of rich brought to their knees because of an infant. The Holy One, who crossed time and space and met mankind where they were, because that is what we needed.

We seem to loose the mystery and awe of the birth of Christ because of familiarity and tradition. When did an old man dressed in a red suit enter God’s Word and become truth. He didn’t. Christmas is about Christ’s birth.

Have you ever pondered what it was like for Zaccherias to recieve Gabriel’s message and watch it play out before his mute mouth? What about putting yourself in Elizabeth’s shoes, think of your grandma being pregnant and nursing a baby? Those shepards had to have as many musings about what they experienced, as they were numbered. Have you traveled in your mind with Joseph and Mary across the sandy and crowded path to Bethlehem? The innkeeper missed it, don’t you wonder if he ever stopped to think about that pregnant couple he let shelter in his stable and kick himself for being inconsiderate about their needs? We tend to hold Mary up high, but have you truly seen her as a teenage girl, barely out of childhood herself, in labor with all its ugliness and pain? We usually see Joseph as noble, but have you wondered if he wasn’t just a normal husband, worried about his wife, scared and torqued because he is helpless to change the circumstances? Can’t you smile at the wiseman’s faith in the heavens, which God created, leading them to an unknown location, don’t you think those they encountered on their journey thought them to be fools? Poor Simeon usually gets forgotten in this story, picture your grandfather waiting for his true love, this was Simeon! Anna in the temple was a widow, who also gets forgotten but picture your own mother prophecying in church for years on end, you may write her off as off her rocker, huh? The dedicating priest–having you ever been slightly jealous that he got to hold Christ as a baby and not you? Have you ever seen the story through a parents eyes, watching Mary as she appears to have turned her back on all you’ve taught her? Or Joseph’s parents, who smile and cringe over his decisions and devotion regarding Mary? What if you were one of Joseph or Mary’s siblings, how would you handle those who you heard talking about your sibling, could you defend your flesh and blood? Do you know what it was like for John the Baptist to grow up knowing he was told to arrive by an angel, what kind of weight did he bear? Then you have the ordinary people in the story, those who the couple traveled with to Bethlehem, those who registered them for the census, those who boarded in the inn and kept their animals in the stable, those who were on the streets before and after Christ’s arrival, those at the temple, those on their way to Egypt: all these people were going on about their daily lives as if nothing ever happened, babies get born, they missed it, they missed Him.

We don’t know the little details like these but let Christ guide our thoughts as we ponder the Nativity and the baby who came to save the world by meeting us where we were at. Will we allow Him to meet us where we are at, as he did those many years ago? Are we willing to see Christmas through a different set of glasses, rather then the ones put forth by society or tradition? Are we will to not miss Christ, as a lot of people have in the past?