Why do we love the Christmas story so much?
The obvious answer for Christians is because it is the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. God becomes incarnate, one in flesh with humanity. For Christians and non-Christians alike, the Christmas story is relatable to the human story. The struggles and joys of humanity are wrapped up in the story of Christmas that engages with anyone who knows the story.
In Mary’s story we encounter unexpected expectations. The feeling of surprise is accompanied with anticipation when the angel tells Mary, “You will bear a child.” When Joseph receives the news of a child to be born we encounter a man struggling with love and loyalty versus fear and shame. A few months later Mary and her cousin, Elizabeth, are brought together in a conversation of joy as they plot and plan their children’s lives. Finally, with the very birth of Jesus, the Scripture celebrates the presence of new life, which seems to cause the world to pause for a moment of wonder.
As we encounter the season of Advent and Christmas, I invite you to enter into the human story already at play in the world. Our own stories are not so different as we experience surprise, expectation, fear, joy, shame, anticipation and finally wonder. There is so much of the Christmas story that touches our lives. I pray that we are drawn to the manger of the birth of Jesus, to peer into the space of God becoming flesh and dwelling among us.