It’s less than an hour before Christmas.
I can hear the end of the Charlie Brown Christmas special playing in the other room, the part where everyone shouts “Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!” and begins to sing Hark, the Herald Angels Sing. I’m glad that show was made back when it was still cool to sing Christmas carols and not just defer to holiday tunes. I like holiday tunes, but I never forget that Christmas carols tell the real story of why this holiday is a holy-day.
The story is so wild it borders on absurd. Angels, a pregnant virgin, a fiancé who accepts the pregnancy and marries the virgin because of a dream, a late-term trip via donkey to their hometown, a city so crowded that there was no room at an inn for a young woman in labor, a would-be King born in a stable, angelic armies scaring the bejeebers out of poor shepherds, men of wisdom and education caravanning a long way to visit the baby, a murderous decree from a jealous king, a frantic escape to a foreign country.
Leave it to God to write a story like that.
And that was only the beginning. It was gentle compared to the end, although both the beginning and the end contained plenty of drama, plenty of why?.
For that matter, the middle was pretty packed with the same.
I love Christmas. I love the story, I love the Baby and all He would do and become, I love the cultural traditions, the music, the food, the exchange of gifts, the pause to consider gestures of kindness and good will towards others.
Mostly I love that God wrote a love story and then stepped into it Himself…and that changed everything.