Christmas 2009

Mary sighed, wondering why men often forget their cell phones.  Is it a genetic problem- or what,she asked herself.  She made a mental note to check it out on Wikipedia when arriving  back home. If onlyJoseph would have booked reservations online with his new smart phone, I would have an easier birth process, she thought.  But Mary did not nag or complain like you or I would have – even though she bounced along on a donkey for several days in her ninth month of pregnancy.

She wondered how long it would take to get to Bethlehem for the census, and wished her parents wouldhave given her a GPS for her birthday.  But of course they were from Nazareth, the bad side of the tracks, and they couldn’t afford a spendy electronic gizmo. Considered the armpit of the Middle East, Nazareth’s imageneeded a makeover.  Mary hoped and prayed they would not get lost again. And so it came to pass that the infant Jesus, our beautiful Savior and Lord, rested in a manger.

The actual setting did not look like your sweet nativity set.  In real time, the manger smelled awful and looked dirty.  Flies and dust gave the location an earthy feel quite unlike your set – unless your garage or attic needs some serious cleaning.  (If so, I wouldn’t wait until Spring to clean because it may be too late!)  The Maid Brigade had not cleaned the manger, and Martha Stewart had not decorated it.

The three wise guys in your nativity set may not be the correct number, either.  When reading the passage, we notice three gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  Because of the three gifts, people assume that three decked out rich dudes from the East checked out the scene.  But we don’t know for sure.  Maybe one of them sent his gift ahead of his arrival, or ordered it late on EBay and didn’t want to pay the extra fast shipping charges.  Or who knows?  Maybe someone stole his identity and he could not get access to his money to buy a gift.  Or he was cheap, like the typical millionaire.   After all, research shows that millionaires get that way because they are extremely thrifty and generally do not buy ritzy brand names.  So maybe one of the wise guys was actually so tight that he squeaked when hopping onto his camel.

Mary wished she would have networked with someone on Facebook before leaving home to see if they could crash at someone’s house.  Then she wondered if she was spending too much time on Facebook and whether she needed to re-evaluate how she spends her time.  What a great New Year’s resolution, she thought.  She made a note on her palm pilot to think and pray about this.

Joseph looked upon Mary and his new son, Jesus, with great adoration.  Man, I wish I would have remembered my smart phone so I could have put these beautiful pictures on Facebook, he thought.  All the people who say that Nazareth is the bad side of the tracks – if only they could see this glorious sight of my son, the Savior and Messiah.  Oh well, he thought, maybe someone in the small crowd of worshipers will take a few snapshots.

Of course this is a pretend story based loosely on the facts about Christmas.  I don’t think God minds because he definitely has a sense of humor.  After all, he created you and me, didn’t he?  Maybe you have always thought that the real story of the birth of Christ was just that – a story.  But in reality, the birth of Christ is the most powerful moment in all of world history other than the cross.  The little baby/Savior/ was all man and all God, and he is the greatest gift mankind has ever known.   If we accept him into our hearts, we receive the free gift of salvation from sin and from ourselves.  We hope and pray that you will experience this beautiful gift of the real Christmas today and every day of your life.

Peacefully,

George and Cherrie

PS.  Thank you to everyone who has encouraged me  (Cherrie) to pursue my passion of writing over the past few years.  A few months ago I signed with a well-respected agent for my humorous –yet-serious book on body image called Fannies:  Reclaiming the Plunder of the Body Image Bandit.  She is currently speaking with publishers on my behalf.  My blog on body image is based on the book:  www.cherriemac.wordpress.com.

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