Scandals and Celebrations
By Maria Patten
As I watch my colleagues receiving things they are ordering for Christmas and join in the discussion around whether we can meet our families over this festive period, I sit and ponder what Christmas is all about. Is it about the gifts, pretty lights, family and the amount of drinks we consume or is there more to it than that? I wonder what that first Christmas was like.
How was Mary feeling when she was told that she would have a child? And she was a virgin, how is that possible? But the angel Gabriel told her this and she treasured it in her heart.
Imagine how she would tell her partner Joseph that she was pregnant? She had never had a sexual relationship with him! It all sounds pretty far-fetched. I think when she told Joseph he was probably angry. Joseph was considering how to break up with her. Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. The angel told him the child Mary was carrying was conceived of the Holy Spirit. She was carrying a son and his name will be Jesus. Wow! This is all too much! but Joseph did what the angel told him. This was foretold way back in olden times.
I wonder as Mary’s belly grew, what was going on in her head?
‘Why me? Why was I chosen? What should I feel or think? What will this baby look like? (Normally you expect the child to be a cross between the two parents, but what does the Holy Spirit look like?!)’
I wonder as Mary’s belly grew, what were people around her thinking?
‘Mary, pregnant? NO!! What will her parents do about it? A scandal here in Nazareth? Who’d have thought it, she’s such a “good” girl!’
Now the contractions are coming and all those thoughts are forgotten. This is the night for the special child to be born. ‘JOSEPH!!! I’M IN SO MUCH PAIN!!!’ Joseph is trying to find a place for her to give birth. There is nowhere for her. All doors are closed, except a stable. ‘I DON’T CARE JOSEPH, IT’S FINE!!!!’
In the stable, with Joseph, Mary gives birth to her beautiful son and names him ‘Jesus’. This was foretold way back in olden days.
Shepherds came, there were bright shining stars and wise men came from afar to greet the family and see this new baby. This was a new born king and this ‘Jesus’, it is he who came to save us and give us hope for a brighter future. He came to reconcile us back to God.
As I watch my colleagues receiving things they are ordering for Christmas and join in with the discussion around whether we can meet our families over this festive period, I see that this is Christmas for me. I will be thinking about how Christ came. Pretty lights remind me of the bright shining stars; visits by family and friends remind me of visits from shepherds and wise men. Christmas is about Jesus.