The Christmas story is full of surprises, I am sure when Mary and Joseph started out for Bethlehem they expected that they would find lodging with one of their relatives.
But it turns out there wasn’t even room at the inns in town, so I’m guessing the relatives were filled to the rafters. Finally, they find room in a stable. And that is when things really begin to happen. A baby is born, shepherds stop by to visit, angels start singing and the light from the star floods the whole town.
Luke 4:16-21 (NIV)
16 Jesus went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day
he went into the synagogue, as was his custom.
He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him.
Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set free the oppressed,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”
20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him.
21 He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
What Happens after Christmas
There is a lot of conjecture about Jesus’ life as he grew up in Nazareth. We know Joseph was a carpenter and that most likely all his sons trained as carpenters and helped him in the family trade.
We have a few stories in the New Testament; one about his family’s flight to Egypt just before King Herod orders the death of male babies under the age of two in Bethlehem in Matt 2:13-23). After Herod dies, the family returns to their home in Nazareth.
We have a story about Jesus as a boy staying behind in the Temple in Jerusalem after the Passover Festival. (Luke 2:41-52).
But Jesus’ life is a bit of a mystery, until he is baptized in the Jordan River by John the Baptist.
Something to Think About
There are so many stories about Jesus, which one (or more) are your favourites? Think about that story, when in your life has it been important.
During Advent we are always waiting, anticipating the birth of Jesus. Then, when Christmas arrives, we celebrate: the birth of a baby, presents, Christmas trees, lights, family and friends, a feast but the birth of this baby really embodies the image that here we have Incarnation of God in human form, Immanuel: God with us. And this Immanuel, this Messiah, is now at the beginning of the journey that moves toward Lent and the crucifixion and Easter. How do you see this connection between Christmas and Easter?