Your perspective of the Nativity creche in your window changes depending on where you stand. Children at eye level have such a better time of entering an ancient story, even if they include their Frodo or gollum action figures. I even caught my dog licking a wise man the other day, and when I bent down to resuscitate him It got me thinking of all I am missing.
Take for instance Zechariah the elderly Priest who has an encounter with a supernatural messenger inside the temple. He is told that his longstanding prayer of wanting a child is finally going to be answered. His wife Elisabeth is soon to be the mother of John the baptist even though she was thought to be barren. Interestingly they conceive through natural means which makes me wonder which is the bigger miracle, that Elizabeth got pregnant or that Zechariah could get her pregnant. I think more than one prayer was answered that night.
We have Mary, a young girl-engaged to be married to a respected man of the village. She has a visit from the same Angelic Messenger as Zechariah. Her response to the news that she has found favor is refreshing. She is troubled by the thought. The messenger has to repeat his news twice….‘you have found favor’. Her response is evidence of her humility. She has found favor, and the journey ahead will seem to contradict that notion. A long journey because of Government legislation, poor and homeless, then refugees in a foreign land-favor sure looks different in the middle east. Elisabeth says it best when Mary visits her…‘Blessed are you who believes what the God has told you’. I think that Mary believed is the biggest miracle. She believed, hoped, and trusted that despite evidence of favor, she would give birth to the hope of the world.
Then there is Joseph. In the whole infancy narrative he seems to get ripped off. Zechariah gets a Paranormal experience, Mary gets a Paranormal experience, even the Shepherds get an out of this world presentation. Joseph gets a bad dream. The only way I wrap my mind around this is that he truly was a ‘tsadiq’ as the Luke records, a righteous man. That God could speak to him in his sleep and he would wake up and be changed by it, that is amazing.
This Christmas story is always intriguing when you humanize the characters. Lets take them down from the window creche and play with them. Lets imagine faces on their wooden bodies and imagine hopes and fears, in their heads and hearts. Once they have come to life, then we can understand the story of a poor peasant girl who incubates the hope of the world in her womb.
Then we can find ourself standing among, not just standing above the Christmas story.
Enjoy this?,then I bet you will love this. There is more than a Fable in the Stable