Sunday, December 19, 2010

Anything but peaceful

Silent night.


Do less.

We need to make Christmas simple, quiet, less hectic.

That's what everyone keeps saying. Get back to what Christmas was really like. But this morning, as we talked about the Christmas story in Sunday School and church, I came to a realization.

That whole birth of Jesus thing? The total exact opposite of quiet and peaceful. They were running around like chickens with their heads cut off the whole time. Think about it.

Angels visiting, crisis pregnancy, scandal, talk of divorce. Adultery was punished by *stoning* and everything pointed to Mary committing adultery. Mary traveled over 100 miles and spent 3 months with her cousin in Jerusalem, then back again. Then a long journey back through Jerusalem to Bethlehem when she was 9 months pregnant (at 9 months pregnant, just turning over in bed is a miraculous feat; I can't even imagine that journey). A frantic search for a place to have a baby. The screams and crying and hustle and bustle of labor, delivery, and a new baby. A choir of angels creating a racket. A bunch of smelly shepherds and bleating sheep tromping through town looking for a child lying in a manger of all places. Then they had to find long-term housing and a caravan of kings parading through town, no doubt causing quite a stir in the streets of little Bethlehem. Another angel and a wild escape to Egypt.

I'm thinking Joseph and Mary would have been glad for just a little taste of the peace and simplicity people are talking about these days.

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