The First Christmas
Christmas is a time when families get together, exchange gifts and share in fun and friendship. It can also be a time of great personal stress, with pressure on finances, the effort to think of appropriate gifts, and all of the preparations. For others, it can be a lonely time; a time of refection of past years and of people who are no longer around. For businesses, it is a time of trying to maximise sales.
But, how was the first Christmas?
It was a much simpler and yet wonderful event. There was little earthly preparation, as Heaven touched earth and seamlessly brought together an array of participants. The heavenly orchestra of angels declaring the Good News with wonderment, the simple shepherds and the wealthy wise men all came together to present this beautiful picture of Christmas that we imagine today.
Imagine all of the participants, how they each reflected on this occasion. Each had a different perspective. For the angels’, it was amazement that the all-knowing, all-powerful, omnipresent Son of God who shared Heaven with them should confine Himself to become a mere mortal baby. For the shepherds, confusion, surprise, and questioning of what it all meant. For the wise men, it was the end of a quest. Probably the greatest thing they had ever done in their lives, their journey immortalised them forever in the pages of the Bible. They had planned for and committed to a long journey. For them, this was the final outcome of months of travel and planning. For the innkeeper it was a nuisance, and for Mary it was a time of pain of delivery and joy at receiving her child. It is hard to imagine how Joseph felt as this wasn’t his baby, but I suspect he felt joy also. Finally, there was one person who hated this event and would have done anything to stop it, and that was Herod.
Do we see ourselves in any of those who participated in this first Christmas?
I pray that, this Christmas, we will be those who embrace and celebrate this earth-shattering event that was to change the course of humanity and bring hope, light and life to all mankind.
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