I’m sure as I write this, that like me a lot of you can probably summarise the nativity in a few points that get all the main points across.
- Angel goes to visit Mary and tells her that she’s pregnant….cos of God?!
- Joseph gets mad at Mary, you can kinda understand though.
- Angel goes to Joseph, and Joseph is no longer mad.
- Joseph and Mary go on a long walk….to Bethlehem!
- Some angels go to the shepherds and scare them, despite telling them not to be scared.
- Joseph and Mary visit some shoddy hotel who put them in a stable.
- Mary gives birth with several animals watching. I hear an audience helps… erm?!
- Those Shepherds turn up to say congrats, but they don’t even have a shower and they bring some of the sheep with them anyway.
- And while all this is going on some wacky weirdo’s, I mean Wise Men, who look at the stars a bit too much, decide that looking at a star isn’t as much fun as it used to be and want to follow one instead…
- Those ‘wise men’ walk a long time with a camel (who should not be allowed into a church) and go and spill the beans to King Herod
- Then they arrive, 2 years(!) late and they bring presents he can’t even use till he’s dead! What’s that about?!
- Then they leave but they decide to take a different route home cos they had a feeling it would be better?
- Joseph has a dream that they should go to Egypt.
- And it turns out King Herod doesn’t like kids as he has all the little boys killed. And they say Roman soldiers didn’t like thee jobs…
- But it’s OK cos Joseph had that dream and he took Mary and Jesus into Egypt.
- They waited there a while and they all live happily ever after….for a while at least.
So there might be a bit more to it! But it’s got all the makings of a classic story. It’s got a hero, a villain, some crazy plot twists, a few nutters, a foreign country and Shepherds. All the essentials but why does it get described as the best story ever told. Maybe I just don’t quite get it?
Or maybe it becomes the best story ever told when you finish reading either side of it?
Before we get to the first Christmas in the Bible there is so much that really makes it. 100’s of years before he’s born his whole life is predicted and then when you read the bit after it’s all true.There are prophecies about ‘sons of God’ coming out of Egypt, out of captivity. Moses leads the Israelites out of captivity in Egypt in the Old Testament, and Jesus comes out of Egypt to bring the people of God out of captivity. There are countless examples of how this wasn’t just an accident. And it had been planned from before it was ever needed, and revealed to us 100’s of years before it happened. Yet sometimes we forget. Emmanuel. God is with us!
- Any other thoughts?
- What else makes it the greatest story ever told?
- What can we do to remind ourselves of just how brilliant it is that Jesus came?