Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him… Matthew 2:1-3
It’s not a secret that Christmas and other holidays are difficult for many. It’s trending, even, to talk about it. So how are we supposed to process the holiday of all holidays when so much may be wrong?
I think every Crèche or manger scene should include a malevolent King Herod standing woodenly off in the distance. Think about it. We have the shepherds, but what about the sword bearing soldiers? We have the three kings but no murderous Caesar with his crosses. Sure, there were cute sheep. But where’s there’s sheep, there’s sheep smells. We have straw but no midwife. Just Joseph. He was a new husband and father to the Son of God. He wouldn’t answer to God as only God, but as Heavenly Father.
The first Christmas was stressful as well as joyful. It was pain and hardship in the cold, broken only by angels singing from on high. We three kings wouldn’t even make an appearance for another couple of years; Herod in hot pursuit. Mary continued to ponder all of this in her heart, sheep smells and all.
Christmas, here on earth, is supposed to be a glimmer, a sparkle in the darkness. Many spend time with guests and/or extended family that despise Jesus. Our family of four will too, unfortunately. We will be spiritually prepared as the atmosphere of our home is challenged. For me personally, every time our family guests spit venom when Jesus’ name is mentioned, I will remember the weeping in Ramah. This city in Israel was full of recently delivered mothers with milk, but with no sons to feed.
When a person refuses to let Jesus into His own birthday celebration, we can remember how there was no room in the inn. While enemies of our lord sit nearby, we can ponder in our hearts what Jesus did for us. As for our two children, we will pray with them and still celebrate the birth of the Son who came to set us free.
Heavenly Father, You sent Your precious son into this less than perfect world. The things that go wrong are just reminders of how much I need that baby in the manger. Keep my eyes fixed on You. In Jesus Name, Amen
What do you look forward to the most about Christmas?
When was the first time that you were disappointed around Christmas?
Write a thank you note to Jesus for coming to save us.