« Frohe Weihnachten | Main | Kununguak »

December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas

'Tis the season to be jolly - and for most of us it will be, but we should also keep in mind the many who will be alone or neglected at this season. At the Abbey we have been trying to encourage everyone to check on who they know who will be alone - and to try to include them in at least one meal over Christmas. It seems to have had some effect as more and more families are combining and including single members of the congregation.

Our Lord was born in a stable, as the Gospels tell us, in an overcrowded "inn" (in the English translations of the story), but more likely the stables beneath the principle building of a "caravanserai" outside Bethlehem. As the majority of dwellings of that period were double storey structures with the stables, stores and cattle pens beneath and the single room "living" area above (some buildings like this can still be seen in the Middle East) it is most likely that, when Mary went into labour, the lower floor offered the only clear space and the privacy for the birth. Be that as it may, the child born on that night - and tradition rather than any real evidence says it was Winter - has changed the world in ways we still do not fully understand.

He came into this world as the "New Adam", and changed our understanding of God, of our relationship with God and of our life as children of God. I doubt very much that any of that was evident on the night, except to a very few who were present, or had a sense that something special had just happened. The Star, the Kings and the recognition in the Temple all come later.

I believe that St John has his finger firmly on the nub of it in his rather allegorical rendition

"He was in the world, and though the world was made by him, the world did not know him."

Later, during His ministry the world would learn to recognise Him, but the fear that that knowledge generated drove many to deny it. Again to quote John:

"In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it."

As we celebrate this Christmas, we need to pause and consider, have we understood fully the impact that this child, born in that stable, in a dusty little town in the Middle East 2000 odd years ago, has had upon us and our understanding of life itself? Have we really considered the message of the Gospel He brought us, and the impact it can and does have upon those who choose to live by it?

May all who visit this site over the Christmas period, receive the blessings of the Christ Child at this season and throughout the comming year.

"The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory of the only begotten Son of the Father, full of grace and truth."

Posted by The Gray Monk at December 25, 2005 10:10 AM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:


And a Very Merry Christmas to you my friend! May your day be bright with love and joy and the spirit of the season. May the New Year bring you Health, Happiness, and Prosperity.

Posted by: Laughing Wolf at December 25, 2005 01:37 PM