Christmas, it's Christmas,
It's Christmas once again.
The Birthday of Jesus,
Born in Bethlehem.
The Lord, who was that tiny baby
Existed long before the birth
He laid aside his heavenly glory
To be Jesus, Saviour of the Earth!
Christmas, it's Christmas....
The Lord, who was that tiny baby
Grew up to show the Father's love.
He laid aside his life to bring us back to God
Raised to life, he's back in Heaven above.
Christmas, it's Christmas...
I'd insert a video here but apparently we and Cupar Old Parish Church are the only people who ever sing it. In the gospel according to Google, anyway. I am truly sorry I can't share the earworm. Tried to find something equally
So am sharing this again because it still makes me grin.
I'm finding myself wondering at the moment. Nativity stories love to include the innkeeper. The Little Princess has been Inky the Wife more than once (I guess innkeepers' wives spend a lot of time sitting down). But, you know, there's no mention of an Innkeeper graciously or begrudgingly allowing Mary and Joseph to sleep in their stable. Just the fact that they did. And I can't help picturing them waiting until the middle of the night, and slipping in amongst the animals, dragging themselves up early again the following morning before they were discovered. Or wondering how many other people were already crowded in with the animals in some kind of temporary refugee camp. I wonder how many nights they'd been there before Mary gave birth. And how many nights it took them to get there from Nazareth. And what they did for nappies. I'm thinking that a Heavenly Host of angels and a flock of shepherds probably blew their cover if they were hiding out.
And then, warned by angels, Mary and Joseph took the baby and fled to Egypt. Shortly before Herod killed all the male babies in Bethlehem. I wonder how much stigma they suffered there - a potentially illegitimate child, certainly one conceived before a betrothal became a marriage. Refugees, who somehow mysteriously managed to escape a mass infanticide no one else knew was coming. How long had they been in Bethlehem before that? How many of those mourning mothers had been Mary's friends, supporting her as a stranger in a strange town around Jesus' birth?
And I wonder what it was like growing up as Jesus' little brother or sister? We know the oldest in the family is always the perfect one (nb: I am the oldest in our family), but how must it be, realising your older brother really IS the Perfect Son? What must it have been like for Mary, having an average child or even an exceptionally wonderful child, after having the perfect, sinless one?
What happened when they finally went home from Egypt? What happened to Joseph? Did Mary save that Myrrh and use it on that fateful Friday 30 years or so later? Or was it sold, used for other relatives? Did that gold fund their exile in Egypt? And at what point did Mary realise her son's Kingship would kill him? How about Joseph? What was it like, being God's Stepfather?
Christmas; it's a time for children. The magic of a tiny little baby with cute fluffy animals, and kings and angels and fairy princesses, fat jolly men who provide endless wish fulfillment (or provoke a deep terror and tears at bedtime, because either you don't let Father Christmas in because he's scary and then you won't be scared but then you might not get presents either, or else you do let him in but then he's scary, and the suggestion he might not in fact be real is even scarier yet). Pantomimes and cinemas and "specials" for every tv programme. Whilst we the adults wish a longer labour on Mary as we wrap and shop and wrap and bake and clean and decorate and prepare and, well, and maybe, just maybe, manage to spend a bit of time forgetting the trimmings and cutting back to the meat of the story. Emmanuel, God with us, God humbling himself, pouring his might and majesty into a frail human body. Fully human and fully divine; a mystery still dividing the world two thousand years later.