Read Luke Chapter 2 (you can use a Bible you have, or follow the link)
And so we come to the Christmas story of Jesus’ birth. As you read chapter 2 what struck you? Was it all familiar? Did anything leap out as if you were reading it for the first time? Where are the wise men? They are only mentioned in Matthew’s gospel. While Matthew is writing particularly for a Jewish audience, the magi, or wise men, from the East would have been an unexpected reminder that the new born king is not just for Israel but for the whole world – a light to all nations. Conversely Luke has a world-wide view, written with a Gentile (non Jewish) audience in mind, and within that global context gives the honour of first to worship the Christ to lowly shepherds going about their daily work.
The shepherds, we are told, found everything ‘just as the angels had told them’. There was integrity and truth in the message, verified in finding Mary, Joseph, and the babe lying in the manger. No innkeeper, no donkey, nor any of the ‘traditional’ additions we owe to St Francis of Assisi’s early 13th Century Nativity plays!
Sometimes we need simply to allow the Gospel narrative to speak its truth. The story races ahead and by the end of this chapter the babe is on the cusp of manhood and engaged in holy things in the temple in Jerusalem.
May this Advent continue as a blessed season for you and yours…
With love, truth and light…