There’s a great line in the movie Talladega Nights where in two children learn that their parents who are about to get divorced. Instead of being moarnful at their parents breaking up, the two children turn to one another and scream “TWO CHRISTMASES!”
It’s a very dark joke but one I relate to as a child of divorce. I don’t mean to be overly dark but experiencing Christmas in multiple celebrations and parties was always a unique perspective on the holiday since it totally bifurcated the celebration. This year in particular, I am feeling it more than usual. With family moving out of state and slowly passing away year by year, my available family in town is getting smaller and smaller. My maternal grandfather’s Christmas Party has essentially been canceled because the entire family will be split between Wisconsin and Alabama while I’m in Illinois with my dad’s side of the family.
I’m not depressed by the state of affairs but it is a shame. Life goes on of course. You always meet new people. Sadly, It’s meant that some older Christmas traditions are going to fall by the wayside going forward. I always enjoyed sitting around the piano with my late grandmother while we read the Christmas story before opening presents on Christmas Eve.
Since this tradition isn’t an option this year for multiple reasons, I wanted to share my Christmas spirit with my readership. I realize that not everyone reading this is a practicing Christian like myself so this tradition might not appeal to you. To that I simply say, Merry Christmas my friends! I will always appreciate your readership.
To those who share my faith, I simple offer the chance to once again read the foundational story of our faith. Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Christ and it is our chance to celebrate the immaculate conception by sharing good tidings and joy with our loved ones. As my readers, you all represent the core of why I work so hard developing and keeping this website in order. I hope that my sharing this gospel with you is something that will inspire you to go out and share your own charity and kindness with others.
Luke Chapter 2: Verses 1-20 – New American Standard Bible
“Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all the people were on their way to register for the census, each to his own city. Now Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was betrothed to him, and was pregnant. While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.“
“In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock at night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood near them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. And so the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army of angels praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among people with whom He is pleased.”
When the angels had departed from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let’s go straight to Bethlehem, then, and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.”
“And they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. When they had seen Him, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. And all who heard it were amazed about the things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.“
The story of Jesus of Nazareth’s birth reflects so much of what will ultimately become the core of his message. We see the king of the Jews and the savior of man born not into royalty but a peasant’s barn. His first worshipers are lowly shepherds who are blessed to see the entire heavenly chorus unfold before them. Just as would become his practice, the lowly shepherds would become his first proclaimers teaching the word to the crowded city of Bethlehem. The young teenager girl Mary, who’s life was likely destroyed by her out-of-wedlock pregnancy, was scared and alone that night as she was preparing to give birth in a crowded filled with migrants.
There is so much in this story to talk about and I cannot begin to speak to all of it. What matters is that today is a day for rejoicing! Today, the Son of Man was born! All shall be right with the world!
God Bless you all and Merry Christmas!