When I think of Christmas, I think of trees, lights & having to endure family dinners. I think of nativity scenes, sheep & camels, Joseph & Mary. And Jesus? He's just a pale little baby lying in the straw... the "reason for the season" & all that. He's not much to look at... give Him 30 years or so to make something of Himself.
We all know a choir of angels announced to some shepherds that Jesus had been born in Bethlehem (the House of Bread) that fateful night. Jesus was placed in a feeding trough & the shepherds who feasted their eyes upon Him immediately took Him into their hearts. Though they numbered but a few, the shepherds went & shared their "bread" with the townsfolk the only way they knew how. Imagine what it would have been like to be awakened in the middle of the night by a dirty, wide eyed shepherd gasping for breath on your doorstep? How many people ignored or cursed their presence? How many invited them in & bothered to listen? Would you or I have responded to the call to "come & see"? I think I might have gone for the novelty, nothing more.
I'm reminded of a very non-Christmasy verse just now... its that first one from Ecclesiastes 11- "Send out your bread upon the waters, for after many days, you will get it back." The Living Bread has come to us also, swirling about on the waters of humanity. It has been carried to us by the currents of time via the prophets, the shepherds, the disciples & saints of old... Will we abandon It like Joseph & Mary had been abandoned that night? Or will we be like the owner of the cave where Jesus was born, who offered all he had so the family could be safe & warm?
God cast His one Son upon the amniotic waters of Mary's womb... That "loaf", the Bread of Life was was placed in a food trough for a reason. He embodied everything we needed in that very moment- hope. And "Hope", Paul says, "does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." Romans 5:5. Its easy to get discouraged in the world these days... Maybe we can find some small way to cast our hope upon the waters this Christmas season & "...not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up". Galatians 6:9. We may have but one loaf left, but then, remember what Jesus did for the 4,000, the 5,000.
Adeste fideles, venite adoramus, Dominum!
(Come all ye faithful, let us adore Christ the Lord!)