She groaned, shook her head, and broke into a dismayed laugh. “I think I’ll fake the flu. I can take my time after the holiday and do it right.”
Not the answer I expected.
I asked the checker at the grocery store.
“I’m ready for it to be over.” She frowned as she spoke. “We usually get lots of extra hours, but this year the management is cutting our shifts and having fewer of us work at a time. We’re busier than usual with less to show for it.”
Listening to these two, I found my heart heavy. I understood the commercial emphasis our culture has embedded in this sacred event. God’s precious gift of his son has become forgotten in the profit-based rush of the holiday. One would think Jesus was an inconvenience to be tolerated.
Suppose his mother Mary had said to the angel, “You have to be kidding. Me, a mother? I’m just a kid myself.”
Or his earthly father Joseph, to whom Mary was betrothed, had said, “The kid’s not mine. Mary is on her own. I’ll not raise someone else’s child.”
Can you hear the shepherds scoffing when the angels announced the holy birth? “What’s another baby in Bethlehem? The town’s full of them already.”
Our culture has lost sight of the miracle that happened more than two thousand years ago in a small stable tucked into a hill. A baby was born to a virgin, announced by a herald of angels to shepherds on a hillside, and tracked by kings from the East following a lone star to the Christ child. He was sought by the wicked Herod and carried to safety in Egypt. He grew up a teacher, a man followed for His knowledge of God, and whose truthful appraisal of the synagogue leaders led to His death on a cross, the most humiliating way to be killed in the Roman world.
The world was not ready for Christmas, but it came anyway. Centuries later, we still try to fit Christmas into our schedule. Instead, we should be finding our place in God’s timetable, molding ourselves into His plan for mankind, and proclaiming to a dying world the saving grace of a Savior, who was born Christ the Lord.
Luke 2:11 (NIV) “Today in the city of David, a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah the Lord.”