Why is Christmas ‘merry’?
Is it because we give gifts?
Is it because we receive gifts?
Is it because all the family is together for a meal?
Is it because of the economic boost that results in retailers finally making it into the black?
Is it because of the ‘magic’ of the season?
Is it because of the good mood that some people exhibit? (No one I know!)
Is it because of a baby in a manger?
Is it because it represents a time of giving, love, or togetherness?
Is it because angels announced the babies birth?
Maybe for some people, but not for me. I don’t think that is the case for Luke either.
The day of Christ’s birth was not a particularly joyous time, humanly speaking.
Joseph was being taxed, his girlfriend was carrying another’s child, they had to make a long journey to Bethlehem, Mary was due at any moment, there was no room for them in the inn so they had to sleep in a stable, Mary delivered her baby, all they could find to cover the newborn baby with was grave clothes, and he had to sleep in a feeding trough.
It doesn’t sound like a particularly joyous occasion on the face of things, does it?
“But what about the angels?”
Oh yeah. The angels appeared to some shepherds and scared them stiff. The last thing Mary and Joseph were looking for was company. And the angels told those shepherds to go visit the new baby. How many mothers do you know who are anxious for their babies to be handled by strangers?