Image: God With Us, Scott Erickson
One of things I love about the Christmas season is the inherent spirit of togetherness. We do our best to cram as many get-togethers into our social calendars as we can. In my family we also have a number of birthdays during the month of December which adds to the scheduling chaos. Reflecting on the Christmas story though I see that this was evident right from the start. Mary and Joseph had to travel to the Bethlehem, which as Joseph’s ancestral home, meant his wider family would have been there as well. With everyone being related, it would have been a huge reunion of sorts. Then we have the shepherds who sought Jesus out and the Maggi who travelled from far off to gather before and meet the Messiah. Even before her son’s birth, Mary went to spend time with her cousin Elizabeth.
All examples of people travelling at great expense to connect themselves to a greater story that would be told, and retold for centuries to come.
Of course the most potent aspect of this story was the bringing together of God and man in the person of Jesus. This embodiment of divine togetherness; God with us and as us in a way that had never before been so intimately demonstrated. So regardless of what we believe it seems there is no escaping the true spirit of Christmas. The spirit that draws people together.