Today almost the whole world knows of Christmas and half the world celebrates the day one way or another.
The Birth of Jesus was in this way:
All the families of the house of David were required along with Mary and Joseph to go to Bethlehem to register for taxes.
So when this world changing celestial and earthly event was taking place where were all the people?
The angles sang in the heavens, the shepherds heard and came to Worship, the wiseman followed the brilliant star in the East and it led then to the obscure place in which the christ child was born.
The other day i was in New York City and saw the huge crowds at Rockefeller Center to see the enormous Christmas Tree covered with lights of all colors of the world and creation. The event itself was summoning of the masses.
So why are there no stories of people coming to the manger, the stable. It is all speculation I know and you may have your ideas and I welcome them as a response to this blog but here is mine:
The people were convinced by their own judgment, prejudice, and bias that this event was a blight on Judaism, on humanity, on good and wholesome people who obeyed the laws and the cultural norms of their day. They sat in their comfort stations quite sure that they were right and that this was not only not of God, it as a violation of common decency in society: A woman our of marital relationship having a sexual encounter and becoming pregnant could not be an act of God.
What a true travesty and tragedy. Where judgment, prejudice and bis abounds grace, mercy and truth are an elusive commodity. It is the same this Christmas. Families that I know both personally and professionally are divided by nothing more or less than their own: judgment bias and prejudice. You here people saying things like: “it was just wrong”, ” they are wrong”, “if we gather as if nothing is wrong it is wrong”, “religious and moral standards are important”, “They knew what they were doing and did it anyway”, “judgment is not un-forgiveness it is just righteousness”, etc.
Really? Reality check: First yes this was an exceptional event and they were judged badly. Second regardless it is a clear challenge to the apparently religious and righteous to not be so sure they are right and realizing that they may be totally wrong and judge a friend or a family member badly. Like the line in Lady and the Tramp, “We judged tramp badly!”
I would rather err on the side of grace and mercy than on the side of bias and prejudice. Jesus years later would teach years later “forgiveness to all as God forgives you of all”. When the comforter shall come, “He will convict the world concerning their sin and will guide you into all truth about yourself and others, and God.” Reality check 2: The Holy Spirit does not ned your help!
This Christmas maybe one of the gifts you can give to a friend or family member this Christmas is to Step out of your comfort zone, your judgment, and enter the “Judgment free zone” of grace and mercy. You might find God there.
Life Begins at the End of Your Comfort Zone. So let the God of all comfort Comfort you into the Discomfort of True Comfort