04 January 2011

A scary Christmas story

As it's still officially Christmastime (and somewhat in reaction to the fact that a lot of people act as if Christmas stops 2 days after Christmas), I figured I could still write a blog related to Christmas.

On Christmas Eve, I joked that I didn't really need to go to the Christmas Eve chapel service for the children, as I did pretty much already know the story. 'But maybe this time it would be different?' I was asked - perhaps this time it would be a scary story. And I thought - a scary Christmas story - huh, how is that possible?

And when we started thinking about it, it dawned on us that the Christmas story is kind of scary. I mean, Mary and Joseph are travelling to a new town while she could have the child at any time. And as much as Elizabeth, her cousin, is part of the pregnancy time in the story, there's no mentioning of any family travelling with Joseph and Mary. So they're in a new village among strangers (albeit probably distant relatives and people friendly enough to make room somewhere for them) about to give birth not just to any child but the Son of God.

And the next question is what kind of baby the Son of God would be. Certainly, he would be human and live on earth, but there was certainly no guarantee that he would look or act like any other baby. Or even a guarantee that he would come out as a baby (perhaps it would just be a mini-man, like some of the icons seem to depict Jesus as being)! Perhaps Jesus would glow or have mini-wings. Who knew?

And who knew if Mary would survive the birth? There was no promise that she would get to raise her son - only that she would bear him. Who could know whether a woman could withstand the birth of God?

When you stop and think about the story, a story that most of us have heard almost too often, it is rather surprising how much potential scariness is part of the story. And considering how much scariness, how much uncertainty is part of our lives today, it is perhaps comforting to recognize the scariness and uncertainty in this sometimes too familiar story.

1 comment:

Brenda said...

a comment from Marco posted via facebook: "Also scary: you're now in a territory governed by a power-mad psychopath who has already executed a few members of his own family and will soon commit mass infanticide to wipe out his rival to the throne."