Christmas (2) – How Did It All Start?



Jesus was miraculously born,

     to a young couple

          in the humble town of Bethlehem.


That is a fact of history.


Long before the event, prophets foretold His coming.

     Isaiah called Him the ‘Prince of Peace‘ and declared that His 

     Kingdom of justice and righteousness would expand across 

     all boundaries and all time.


On the night of His birth, angels heralded the nativity,

     “Good news! The Saviour, who is Christ, the Lord, is born!  

     Rejoice!  Give glory to God in Heaven!  Let peace and good 

          spread among all the people on earth!”


The shepherds, with simple child-like exuberance and faith,

     ran to find this gift from Heaven.  They joyously spread the news

     and good cheer to family, friends and neighbors.  Their excitement,

     gratitude and praise could not be constrained.


Sometime within the first year after His birth, magi (wise scholars 

     and astrologers) who observed an unusual astronomical phenomenon 

     from their observatory in the region of Persia patiently tracked the 

     moving star from the east to the palace of Herod in Jerusalem.


“Where is He Who has been born King of the Jews?” 

     they inquired of Herod, king over Judea. 

“For we have seen His star in the east at its rising and have come 

     to worship Him.”


Validated by Micah’s prophecy, the wise men followed their celestial guide 

     until its royal beam identified the place where Jesus was. 

These men of great renown, power and influence bowed before the Child 

     to acknowledge the Sovereign Potentate of cosmic significance—

    Jesus, the Eternal King of the Universe!


It is claimed that not much attention is given in the Bible to the birth of Jesus.


Isn’t it interesting (and significant), however, that the Holy Spirit inspired two 

     of the four Gospel writers to record the details celebrating Jesus’ birth!


They recount the pensive meditation of Mary as she ponders the drama, 

     the emotion and the awesome significance of the One whom the Angel called 

          the Son of the Most High God.


They include the wild excitement of the shepherds dancing and shouting the news

     with unrestrained joy.


Can you even imagine the thunderous blast of sound and piercing brilliance of light 

     that split the night skies as angels celebrated the unfathomable gift of love 

     from the Sovereign King of the Universe to His special creatures

     whom He loved so dearly?


And the stately homage of the magi, kings in their own right.

     Hear them as they present their gifts:

          ‘Gold, for the King of all kings;

           frankincense, for the Priest of all priests;

           myrrh, for the greatest of all sacrifices.’


That is Christmas!  The first Christmas!


Did it happen on December 25th?

All the evidence says it did not.


But if we celebrate Christmas today as it was at the first . . .


     if we open our hearts to the King of kings born in lowly Bethlehem,

          as Joseph and Mary did,

     and embrace the Kingdom of Heaven that was ushered in that night,

          as the wise men did when they bowed to worship in His Presence . . .


we join that great throng 


     “people who sat in darkness have seen a great Light, 

     and those who sat in the land and shadow of death

     Light has dawned.”


If we celebrate Christmas today as it was at the first . . .

     the Light within us pushes back the darkness,

     making room for ‘peace on earth, good will to all men!”


Something to ponder . . .    



Les Dahl