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Used to run a stable and live on a farm, now I am back into banking for awhile. Still have horses and love animals.  

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

What does God think of Christmas 2012

Everyone knows the story, the babe born in a humble stable, in a manger. The Three Wise Men, the Sheppard's, and the star that everyone followed to find the new born king. I've thought about the story, the well told story that sounds so simple and quaint. Was it really simple? Just picturesque and another Disney type story that we all love, created for our entertaining pleasure that comes on every year for over 2000 thousand years just like some of our favorite Christmas movies.

I thought about the story this morning from a different perspective trying to imagine what it would have been like to be the people in the story and what it was like in their time.

A woman who has a questionable pregnancy in a time where women were stoned for less, a man who must believe in this woman and maybe even have to stave off other's judgments and with racing thoughts at times humble himself to take a leap of faith and accept the circumstances.

At the very time when the baby should be welcomed into a home with parents, grandparents, family and community they are forced to set off for a long trek. A donkey, the mode of transportation for a long trip. I don't know the climate or weather of the region so I can only speculate what the difficulties entailed and of course there is the need for food and water to consider.

Arriving at the town of Bethlehem and ready to give birth to Mary's first child, she must patiently wait for a place to rest to prepare for the birth. Her mother wasn't there for her, was there any woman to help with the birth? Labor, a woman's pain, months of a slow progression and finally the culmination of joy and pain all at once.

A child was born, and endured birth as any other child, a woman travails like every woman in suffering and perhaps struggling with the unknowing and uncertainty of the first child birth as a young woman.

The Wise Men, traveling a great distance following a star. They encountered a number of obstacles, they had to use cunning to keep the child safe even before they arrived at the place where he was born. I would find it hard to imagine the feelings of the parents when these strangers arrived, the wonder and fear of such guests. We think of presents for Christmas, what one of us would do if we were presented with gifts for our life and then also death. Burial herbs, how much celebration would there be if we unwrapped that Christmas morning instead of the many items we indulge ourselves in each Christmas.

Now the sheperds, my favorite. Nomads, moving their flocks, I can assure you although they may not have been held in high ranking in their society they didn't care. Living out under the stars, protecting their sheep and sharing in the wonder of their natural world. God the creator and the stewards of His creation.

Observing the star, the angel who visited them not the wealthy or people who could have made Mary and Joseph's more comfortable, the in the know people, the people they could have gotten hooked up with. They offered their joy, there reverence, their good wishes and blessings to a young family and a newborn child.

Now the picture looks a little more lifelike, God gave the world a beautiful gift, He gave us hope. There was no magical wave of an imaginary wand, the Gift was given but the labor, the effort of those who received it and the later suffering of the babe as a man were all very human I think.

Survival, mankind I believe in those days focused on survival, the effort of surviving. Where have we gone? How did we move so quickly from the unity of working towards survival to the detachment of self from all that is meaningful.

Why did an innocent baby have to be hidden away for fear of being killed, why could we not receive such a wonderful Gift as we have received so many other precious lives?

What does Christmas mean to us today at this time in our evolution as humans? Does it mean anything except time off from work, an excuse to buy things and not feel guilty? Is it really food and family when we are all exhausted and stressed out.

This morning I stopped for a moment while enjoying the quiet of the early morning and asked myself what God thinks of the celebration of Christmas, any Christmas. How can I answer that question without feeling ashamed. Christmas does not mean the celebration of the birth of Christ, it does not mean the thankfulness for Him or the sharing of His love with others. To be honest there is another god worshiped at Christmas, the god of the world and the things made by our own hands and the money to buy them. The god of "happy holidays."

The Lord, He is a wonderful Father, for He knows we need Him all year round, His gift, Jesus is here for us for all times, Christmas I think has become our holiday not Christs, but everyday if we can just remember to embrace His love in our daily lives, to share it with others. Self will parish, we will all spiritually parish without the daily struggle to survive, the struggle to gather His fruit, to be stewards of His blessings, to sow and reap His harvest in our lives and the lives of others. 

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