Christmastime in Oregon is green…or a gray drizzle. Not ice or four inches of snow. The first day was fun. The second day was exciting. The third was annoying. The fourth was odd…the snow became oddly familiar. But it was highly inconvenient. How was I going to get to my family Christmas? With work the way it is we could not help but plan it a week early. No matter what, I was going to make it! No more gifts? No problem. No groceries? We will live with it. A little risky? Not bad enough to be dangerous enough to keep me away. I drove through gravel, snow, slush, and ice and made it to my first really white Christmas.
Luke not only tells about the birth of Jesus, but also the trips the family took to Jerusalem in later years…so it wasn’t out of the question. But pregnant? What gave Mary the determination to travel that far – around 80 miles?
They did not even know it was Christmas. It was tax day, actually. And rooms were harder to get than at a college graduation. So they roomed with the animals. That is a plain and simple birthday, no bows and ribbon on top!
We had fun at Christmas – good food, a gift exchange, special decorations, and a winter puzzle in the corner to match the landscape. Do we try to make Christmas too pretty? Is it too far from that stable? Or is it lending beauty to a time that did not look beautiful at first? Just like the cross?
God, thank You for safe travels on the unexpectedly white Christmas. It was an easy, one-way drive…little extra traffic. But in the middle of all the preparations, thank You for a chance to remember the first inglorious Christmas. Please help me try to make my Christmas celebrations more like that first one. To Your glory, amen.