Tag Archives: Bethlehem

XMAS, Improved

My friend, Rick Martinez, with whom I’ve shared wonderful intellectual and philosophical conversations—as well as my writing efforts throughout the years—comments on some of my blogs. This is in response to my last blog, and is a beautiful thought for the season. I formatted it as a blog, but the thoughts and words are Rick’s, unchanged.

Thank you, Steve, for writing about Christmas—the Birth of Christ. No matter of all the “scientific” facts surrounding when Jesus was born and who believes what–there’s at least two general things we all acknowledge and accept as true. At the time and in the area of Christ’s birth, what was true 2000 years ago continues to be true today–some 2000 years later: There were believers and non-believers and warring factions back then as there are now. And–for Christians all over the world, the most tragic words ever written of our Lord are those set down by the Apostle John in the beginning of his Gospel:

He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

Bethlehem had no room for Him when He was born;

Nazareth, no room for Him when He lived; and

Jerusalem, no room for Him when He died.

Christmas Mysteries

Almost all the stories about Christmas are full of magic and wonder. While most of us try to maintain an adult demeanor most of the time, Christmas does tend to bring out the child in each of us. Every child has wondered about these things.

nativity1

  • Did the star show up at the time of Jesus’ birth or did it show up far enough in advance to give the Wise Men a head start?
  • What was the star? Just a new star? A supernova? Was it Halley’s Comet? (Admit it – you’ve wondered that.)
  • When the Magi packed up and headed toward Bethlehem, did one of them really think, “Myrrh – an embalming ointment. That’s what a newborn king would want!”
  • On the other hand, incense is nice, and gold always comes in handy.
  • Aren’t you glad that for the U.S. census you don’t have to pack up the family and travel to the city from which your family came?
  • I’m a city kid – I don’t even like walking through a barn, much less sleeping in one.
  • At least we know that it was Kosher – so it wasn’t a pig barn (yuck!)
  • Imagine the shepherd boys returning home and telling their Jewish mother what they saw. They likely got checked for a fever, a serving of the equivalent of chicken soup and sent to bed until the illness passed.

Of course, there is modern magic and wonder.

  • Toys for Tots
  • Money in the Salvation Army kettle
  • Jesse trees
  • Food drives
  • Families getting together
  • Enjoying our children’s excitement.

Christmas is getting closer. Share the magic and the wonder.