This has been a Christmas never experienced before. The month of December should bring the eager expectation of celebrations. It is the season for a burst of celebrations, a burst of decorations, special lights and party planning. This year is different. We desperately try to bring a semblance of what we experienced in past Christmas seasons but this year we are shut in our homes, social gatherings are limited and the sting of a pandemic overshadows everything.
There was no mad dash to the stores for “black Friday” with customers crammed into aisles, stock on shelves are limited and to find the ingredients for special holiday dishes is almost impossible. Jobs lost, business as usual is almost non-existent and many of our familiar stores are now shuttered and out of business. Parents who once would pile gifts under a beautiful decorated tree now will be happy to have a few presents and the holiday meal overflowing with goodies will be much smaller
Instead of joy, excitement and anticipation of good things to come we are shrouded in fear of what is to come next. Into the atmosphere I want to scream WAIT, WAIT – Christmas is not about things, and parties and all we think that is need for a celebration.
Long ago there was also a different Christmas. It began in hard times for those that lived then. There were heavy burdens imposed on people. Taxes and the census needed to be attended to.
A young couple, with the wife pregnant with her first child had to make a difficult journey to a small town. Arrival in that town did not bring comfort for there was place to stay and to make things even harder the young woman knew her baby was about to be born. They finally found a place. Really – a smelly cave-barn where the animals were fed and bedded down. Not where I would want to have my baby.
Were there decorations – yes – A star a magnificent star in the heavens Were there visitors – yes lowly smelly shepherds and later three wisemen Celebrations – yes It was the heavenly hosts – they celebrated saying “Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given. Unto you is born this day a Saviour which is Christ the Lord. Gifts given – the wisemen brought gifts.
It was a different Christmas then and it is a different Christmas now but the real Christmas and the reason for it has been the same for centuries. CHRIST IS BORN.