Written for youth and children:
By Linda Martindale
I’m going to be writing a set of meditations for the holidays for the children and youth. Today’s is meant for both groups because we are facing a very unique holiday season.
COVID this year has changed the way we think of Christmas. In fact, I’ve started calling it the Grinch. We probably won’t be able to have our annual Christmas party at the Church. It’s going to be hard for you to actually sit on Santa’s knee this year. You will see more masks (and not the Halloween type) when you are out in stores. And all our Christmas traditions will be slightly different.
But wait! It’s a chance for us to remember the true meaning of Christmas. Sometimes we get so lost in the presents and the visits that we don’t stop and think. Sometimes, in our rushing around, we forget that Christmas is really something entirely different.
Jesus was not born in a hospital, castle or a big house. He was not even born in his home town! Let’s really think about this.
Mary and Joseph were both poor. They lived in Nazareth which wasn’t considered the best of towns.
Mary and Joseph had to travel while Mary was pregnant. They could only afford to take one donkey. It wasn’t to a family party. It was to a large gathering of people with the same family so the Romans would know how many people lived in a region. It was called a census and we have these today.
Mary and Joseph didn’t have a place to stay when they arrived in Bethlehem. The innkeeper took pity on them and let them stay in his barn. And it wasn’t actually a barn but a cave. Their only companions were the animals.
Mary had her baby with only Joseph to help her. She didn’t know what to do but trusted that God would help as she was having God’s Son.
But you know with all this something wonderful happened. Legend tells us that the animals bowed down and worshipped the newborn Baby. Angels appeared to shepherds in the fields and told them where to find the Child. They went and worshipped Him. And a star, a magnificent star, appeared in the sky and would start the journey for three wise men who would follow it until they found Jesus.
So, Christmas really started out simple but gave us so much more. We will adapt as we always do and find new ways to celebrate. And as we do, we need to remember that the story of Christmas isn’t about having fun but the tiny Child who came into the world in such a quiet way but made such a difference. For without Jesus, we wouldn’t have a reason to celebrate.