Which character from the nativity do you identify with?
This is a guest post written by my husband Melese.
We all know the story of Christmas and can picture the nativity scene in our heads.
Mary who was pregnant but is now a mother.
Her fiancé Joseph, an unexpected father.
The newborn baby Jesus who is so much more than an ordinary baby. He’s a source of every joy.
The family hosting them at their stable and lending Jesus their manger.
The smelly shepherds who are included in the story to the surprise of many.
The angels who brought good news.
The wise men who came to Bethlehem much later but for some reason are pictured in the nativity scene.
The residents of Bethlehem oblivious to the events of that holy night.
The animals whose stable is ‘invaded’ by all these strange people and heavenly beings.
Who are you this Christmas?
Are you like baby Jesus who brings joy to the world?
Are you like the shepherds? Worshipping Jesus but astonished by what you are celebrating today?
Are you like the angels? Proclaiming the good news to the surrounding?
Are you like the innkeeper? Opening your hands to the strangers, the lonely, hungry, forsaken …?
Are you like the animals in the stable? Observing what people celebrate this Christmas.
Are you like Mary and Joseph? Carrying ‘their’ baby, wondering who he really is and watching as the story unfolds? Theirs is rather strange and crazy.
Are you like the people of Bethlehem? Heard about the events but living their own lives, maybe just stopping to say “Oh, what a cute baby! Blessings!”
Maybe you are a resident in the village who don’t know what’s going on or don’t want to know. You’re not bothered by this nonsense going on around.
This Christmas, are you caught between what happened in the village of Bethlehem and the lights, the tree and all the rest of it?
You may have even sent the wishes to your neighbours and friends but have you reflected on what is written in the cards?
To celebrate Christmas, like it was the first Christmas, means going back in time and finding oneself in one of the above characters, and admitting to yourself what is your role in all of it?
That’s not simple. It is like that short but decisive moment when you stood, knelt down and/or raised your hand and voice to invite the living Jesus to your life. You need to have a gut to do so.
Nativity is easy to read but difficult to play in real life. Realising its meaning and message is liberating. Will you be one of the characters who realise that Jesus is G O D who became H U M A N and will give him glory He deserves? Or will you pass by the stable missing the whole point?
Merry Christmas from Bethlehem, Judah.