It’s the story that never grows old. Filled with God’s special messengers, unexpected company from the field, unexpected gifts from special guests from afar. Tales of romantic twists and a marriage that almost wasn’t. Even the stars seemed to align themselves.
And all of it centers in on a baby.
Babies in our day are used to getting all of the attention. Company comes from all over to celebrate the new bundle of joy. Every little need they have is met with great attention by a mom or a dad. If it’s not, the cries come quickly. But this story of Christmas was more than the normal routine for a birth, even by first child standards.
Yet, routine is one of the words that is unfortunately linked with Christmas. I find people can lean towards two categories when it comes to this holiday. They love it and begin to play Christmas music in late September or they will bemoan the fact that Christmas decorations pop up around the same time as Halloween stuff in all of our stores.
I won’t say people automatically fit in one of these categories totally, because while I am not a Grinch, I am certainly not listening to Christmas music before Thanksgiving. I’d like a good dose of tryptophan to get me ready for this season, thank you very much.
But I have to wonder, for those who roll their eyes and simply see dollar signs when they think of Christmas and how much it is going to cost. Has this story grown old? If the thought of more wrapping paper and letters to Santa only elicits a sigh, perhaps they are focused, and weary, of the wrong story.
There are plenty of ALL-CAPS-red-font websites to decry the commercialization of the birth of Jesus, so I won’t go there. But for a people who are committed to worshipping their Lord and Savior every day, and coming together every week as a reminder of what God has done for us, a yearly focus on the Messiah come to Earth shouldn’t make us weary.
Anticipation should mark our attitudes as we recall just how amazing is the birth story. After all, it is filled with plots and subplots, danger and escape, gifts that double as prophecy, and of course, family.
Even today, company comes from all over. With any luck, most of it is not unexpected. And hopefully, we will come prepared to celebrate, because this bundle came to bring…joy.