Let’s see, it’s been an estimated 2,000 years since the first Christmas. There were no Christmas carols then, no one rockin’ around the Christmas tree yet, and the first Christmas cards were centuries away. The first Christmas sermons weren’t yet a forethought, much less an afterthought. But since then, much has been said and written about that holy event. So much that we feel inclined to wonder: What else can possibly be said?
Still, sometimes what’s old somehow manages to be forever new. Like the “Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s “Messiah.” Many of us have heard it many times, yet it never fails to stir the soul. Or the redemptive message of “A Christmas Carol,” whether read from Charles Dickens’s original writing, or portrayed on film in the Reginald Owen, Alistair Sim, George C. Scott or other newer versions. Timeless virtues never seem to go out of date.
Most of all, we have the original Christmas story, captured in Luke 2:1-20. For all of us who believe that the Word (Jesus) became flesh and indeed lived among us (according to John 1:14), it never ceases to inspire an overwhelming sense of wonder and awe. This being Christmas day, I’ll just reprint it below. It speaks for itself:
“In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
‘Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.’
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. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.”
All I can add to that is…AMEN!
Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, former newspaper editor and magazine editor. Bob has written hundreds of magazine articles, and authored, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include the newly re-published, “Business At Its Best,” “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” He edits a weekly business meditation, “Monday Manna,” which is translated into more than 20 languages and distributed via email around the world by CBMC International. To read more of Bob Tamasy’s writings, you can visit his blog, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com, or his website (now being completed), www.bobtamasy-readywriterink.com. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.