Singing traditional carols outdoors makes things “feel like Christmas”.
It was clear to me last night that Christmas had finally kicked off with vengeance (is that biblical?) when I was outdoors singing carols with my church, and knowing that I would be doing a Christmas lights tour tonight.
Clearly my brain (and many others) associates outdoor singing and coloured electrical displays with the meaning of Christmas. These things just “feel like Christmas” because we really only do them at this one time each year.
However, my older brother sending through some footage of his children acting in their church’s annual nativity play, did give me some pause for thought. Whilst, of course, my church’s carols event came complete with Bible passages being read and briefly explained, outdoor singing doesn’t really line up too well with some aspects of the first Christmas.
I highly doubt Mary was singing whilst giving birth.
Whether Mary and Joseph stayed the night in a barn or not is debatable. If they did, it wouldn’t have been comfortable. More likely the straw (if there was any) was scratchy. The floor (if there was one) was dirty and cold and the animals were probably none too clean. And they might have smelt. If not, their poo probably did.
How’s that for reflecting on “the most wonderful time of the year”?
But, that’s what Christmas truly “feels like”. It ain’t grand.
That was for Mary though. What about for Jesus? He was just a baby, right? It was all OK for him, he just got swaddled. Well… perhaps not. Consider what The Bible says when it explores Jesus’ coming to earth:
Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!
That’s what started at the nativity for Jesus. Denial of rights. Servanthood. Humanity. Obedience to suffering.
That’s what Christmas “feels like”. It ain’t grand.
But it is divine.
Yours in looking again at the nativity,