This will be, in a sense, my first Christmas. In the whole year since December 25th 2010, a whole lot has happened in my life and I now see the world very differently. But perhaps the most important thing that has happened – perhaps the most important thing in my entire life – was when I met Jesus, who reached into my life and resurrected my spirit. I will, for the first time, be celebrating the birth of Christ as my saviour, not just as the prophet of Christianity or the preacher of ‘good moral values’. The story of the cross has roots: a man was killed that day. A man has a story. So understanding the significance of the cross has caused me to reflect most seriously on the birth of Jesus.
I have never given much thought to Mary’s postpartum visit from a group of shepherds. But this verse stood out to me as I was writing, and I think we might learn from it:
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. — Luke 2:15-19
So I think now might be a good time to return to the idea of the incarnation.