As the tinsel goes up and last minute preparations are under way I’m conscious that for many there will be loneliness – sadness – illness – and numerous other issues that are happening in their lives – and that they will possibly be hiding behind all the glitter – laughter and excitement that flows around them.
As I was pondering this I wondered at just how much of the real ‘Christmas story’ is hidden from our view -even for those who truly seek to celebrate the birth of Christ.
As we see nativity scenes around us – depicted on cards – and played out so many times by children all over the world – do we truly understand – or even contemplate – what went on ‘behind the scenes’
I don’t somehow imagine that Mary was feeling totally happy – or even excited – as she made that trip to Bethlehem with Joseph. She must have been very uncomfortable – possibly even ostracized on that journey – certainly likely to have been misunderstood by many.
Imagine then what it must have felt like – feeling tired and possibly in much pain – to experience rejection wherever they turned – no one had room for them – they were unwanted – unwelcome – and when a kindness was shown to them – it was still a very difficult and uncomfortable situation. No pristine stable this – as mostly shown in our nativity scenes – but dirty – smelly – certainly unhygienic for the birth of a baby.
It was a hard time – yet – what a difference when Jesus entered the scene – His Presence made all the difference – and when the shepherds visited and told of the angels visit to them – that must have lifted Mary’s spirits too – reminding her of the angels words to herself all those months ago – of the promises given to her – and now fulfilled.
What a part those shepherds played – bringing comfort – reassurance and gladness to the hearts of those they came to see.
I’ve been challenged by my musings – challenged to recognise that Christmas can be a hard time for many – it can be lonely – they can feel unwanted – even left feeling that there is no place for them anywhere.
I want to remind them that the One whose birth we celebrate is there for them.
I came across this poem which puts it in a simple way – reminding us that He is with us – if only we care to stop and look and listen for Him.
We can find Him – behind the tinsel – even in the darkest times for us – and so we can rejoice – and maybe even enjoy the tinsel!
May His Peace and Blessing be yours this Christmas – Lois