posted on Dec, 25 2019 @ 05:03 AM
It was a night probably similar to this one. A young man, fairly well to do as he was a carpenter by trade, came to town with his wife. As usual, the
government had screwed up. The king had decided to have a census and had ordered every man to return to their town of birth to be counted. The place
was a madhouse. People were crowding into every place that had a room for rent. The man arrived a little too late to get a room, as everywhere he
looked was full up. All the money in the world would not have helped. He searched frantically, because his wife was about to deliver their first
All in vain. Then his wife went into labor. Panicked, he redoubled his search and found a cave nearby where some animals were sheltering. It was messy
and smelly, but the feedtrough was fairly clean and full of soft hay. The couple took up shelter in that stable and his wife laid in the trough to
deliver. That night, their child was born.
He wasn't born in a hospital... he wasn't born in a birthing chamber. He wasn't born at home, or even in a rented room. This poor little boy was
born in a livestock shelter, essentially homeless. He could have gotten an infection; his mother could have gotten an infection. Either could have
died that night.
No one knows if it happened on December 25th... it likely didn't. But today, 2000 some odd years later, around the world, people still celebrate that
night. Many have forgotten why... we put trees around our homes and sprinkle them with colored lights and pretty trinkets. We buy things for each
other that we don't need (sometimes don't want) and wrap them up in bright, shiny paper. We flood the towns and create gridlock everywhere we go in
our haste to make sure everything is perfect for our parties, creating the same kind of gridlock that happened so long ago in a town called Bethlehem.
We overeat, tolerate those who we somehow ended up with as relatives, and sing songs. We retell mythology born of legend and fairy tales, of a fat man
in a red suit who magically delivers toys to all the good children across the globe in one night. We watch animated cartoons on TV about these
mythologies, including a reindeer born with a glowing nose and a magical snowman who came to life.
There's not any evil in how we celebrate this day. We all have our culture and our customs, to make us feel safe and secure in who we are. But we
should take a moment at least, just a small pittance of time in our busy hustle and bustle, and remember what we celebrate. A baby, born in the lowest
conditions imaginable. A mother, crying from the pain of childbirth as she lay there afraid for her and her baby's life. A father, helpless and
desperate to ensure the safety of his wife and child, doing the best he could and failing miserably.
That child would grow to become the greatest moral teacher ever. He would change the entire world. He would usher in a new religion, one in which God
is not some far-off spirit but a friend and father who lives inside each of us. A few knew what this night meant: seers from afar came to that stable
that night and presented him with the most precious material gifts that existed, and shepherds fell down on their knees and praised him after leaving
their flocks alone and vulnerable. They knew. Perhaps Mary and Joseph, the babe's parents, knew. But in the town around them, people continued to
fight for room, continued to buy and sell and trade, continued their daily lives, mostly unaware of what was happening right there around them.
So it is still today.
Merry Christmas, ATS.