The Christmas Story is one I’m sure we are all familiar with. Most of us will have grown up being involved in our fair share of nativities, we will have sung carols until we can sing them from memory, heard bible readings of the Christmas story and you will probably have heard many talks about it too.
It would be very easy for us to think we have learned everything we could possibly ever need to know about the Christmas story, but to do so would mean to miss out on the wonder and majesty of Jesus’ birth. Have you ever considered why God chose Jesus to be born the way he was? Jesus’ birth was certainly not a royal birth and it wasn’t how they portray it in kids nativity plays. It’s wasn’t cute or funny.
The shepherds weren’t dressed up neat in their robes and tea towels, the stable wasn’t clean and peaceful and Joseph & Mary didn’t have it all together. In fact, Jesus came to earth in chaos. The stable we talk of was actually no more than a cold damp cave, the manger Jesus was placed in was an animal feeding trough, including all the local smells and muck.The shepherds were the outcasts of society and they smelt like their sheep… baaaad.
Mary was only a young girl and was trying to come to grips with giving birth to God’s son, Joseph was engaged to Mary but was considering if he should stay with her due to her pregnancy – This was no peaceful scene and it didn’t stop there as both Mary and Joseph would have had to hear and deal with the snide comments all the way through Jesus’ childhood.
Jesus birth wasn’t a royal entrance; amongst the cold, the smells and the snide comments, Jesus was born into tough circumstances so that he could understand and empathise with humanity. Ultimately, it led him to the cross where through his death and resurrection he offered us the chance for forgiveness and the way back to relationship with him in all it’s fullness. Jesus’ birth kick started the greatest love story ever told, now that is something to celebrate this Christmas!