Christmas comes in packages. Courier companies deliver packages to our doors. Some people book a hotel package for Christmas Day. Christmas parcels are wrapped in seasonal paper to be opened on the big day. Christmas comes in packages.
St. Luke packages the first Christmas story for us in his Gospel. He wants us to see, first, the coming of God to the world he created. Christ came at the time when Caesar Augustus ruled much of the known world. But for Luke the Roman Empire was only the backcloth to Christ’s coming. Jesus, not Caesar was the main man.
Secondly, Luke points to how God came to earth. He came in humility. Born to peasant parents in a rural backwater in Palestine. Born and nursed in a feeding trough in a bare stable. No pomp and circumstance in Luke’s story of the coming of Christ into the world.
Next, Luke highlights the announcement of Christ’s arrival. An angel is the herald. The news is good, the promised one is to be born in Bethlehem. He will deliver, for he comes as Saviour, what the world needs. He is for all, people then and people now, people like you and me.
Lastly, Luke sets before us the reaction to the coming of Jesus. Shepherds keeping watch over their flocks at night were the first to hear the news. Their response was immediate, they hurried down to Bethlehem, their clue was the feeding trough, just as the angel had said. Mary’s response was more reflective; she pondered all these things in her heart. The wonder of it all.
Luke’s package of the first Christmas story has been described as the most beautiful
gift ever given. Do take time to unwrap the gift of God and to receive Jesus with great
joy and wonder this Christmas.
I do hope and pray that we will be able to celebrate Christmas in our homes and in our churches with family, friends and strangers. May you have happy and blessed Christmas.