With today being Christmas, I have been thinking a lot this week about the story of Yeshua’s (Jesus’s) birth. I have seen this topic come up in a variety of different sources this week, from those that would be considered conservative Catholic theology to extreme liberal Christianity with pagan leanings. It all centers around the idea that God chose to be born in the humblest of manners. Not just to a poor family, but to a family who was away from home in order to follow imperial orders, a family that could not find shelter and was forced to stay in a barn.
Now, it doesn’t matter what you believe, if those beliefs align with traditional Christian thought or if you are a pagan honoring Odin’s ways. The story of Yeshua’s birth can teach us all, there is a seed there for all of us to latch onto.
The story of God’s birth on earth is one of God being born in the humblest of ways, among the animals and the hay. His birth was not announced to the religious leaders of the time but to the shepherds. This is the story which the religious institution has built up around Yeshua’s birth. This story may not be historically accurate. Modern research does not uphold the account of the census, the barn, or even the timing of the birth. There is no talk of the Essence community or the cave network and the planning of this divine birth.
But, the historical truths do not matter at this moment. What matters is this story which has taken on such a mythical status that it is celebrated in one form or another worldwide. The story of a God being born to and for ordinary, everyday people.
A God who befriended those who had been judged and rejected by their society and religion. A God who loved and asked that we love all people. The story of Yeshua’s birth is a story of light being born among us – of love being available to all beings, even those that society has deemed as outcasts, a story of hope.
Our message is to ask ourselves, are we the type of people who would be a friend of Yeshua? Would this God choose to announce His birth to us? Take away the idea of eternal truths or historical happenings, and really look at the story we have before us.
A baby born in a manger, surrounded by animals and shepherds. God coming to earth and choosing circumstances that we put on the poorest of the poor. If God chose to be reborn today, would it be in a modern hospital or would He choose to come to an immigrant family surviving persecution, just trying to get by?
The story of Yeshua’s birth asks us to examine our own ideas and prejudices and judgments. If we say we welcome Yeshua into our hearts, does that mean we are willing to do just the same for those less fortunate than ourselves?
Merry Christmas and Blessed Yule!
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