Celebrate our future and our whole world

Jonathan Riley, Digby Courier
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Merry Christmas

Christmas is the celebration of one child’s birth.

A very special child by some accounts but a child nonetheless.

It’s religious importance aside for one moment, Christmas is without a doubt the single most important holiday in the calendar from a secular perspective—a celebration of birth, renewed hope, a brighter future.

Our most important holiday centres around the birth of a child.

Given this attitude of a society that so treasures its children, it is hard to get our heads around the terrible tragedies that afflict children everywhere.

Even more so when the cruelty of the world we live in is brought to our attention in so dramatic and horrible a fashion as the murders that took place in Newton.

It is natural to look to the cause and to seek a solution but the afflictions are many and the challenges of our crowded world are complex.

The one thing we can all do, the one thing the Bible tells us above all else is love the ones around us.

The story of the birth of Jesus itself can be read as a recipe for fixing the world we live in.

Yes many children are born in simple even desperate circumstances.

First the Bible tells us shelter the children and then celebrate them and honour them.

They are our future and our whole world.

It is a simple story but worth reading again and again—at least once a year:

Caesar Augustus decreed that a census be taken, and every person in the entire Roman world had to go to his own town to register.

Joseph, being of the line of David, was required to go to Bethlehem to register with Mary.

While in Bethlehem, Mary gave birth to Jesus. Probably due to the census, the inn was too crowded, and Mary gave birth in a crude stable.

She wrapped the baby in cloths and placed him in a manger.

Out in the fields, an angel of the Lord appeared to shepherds who were tending sheep by night. The angel announced that the Savior had been born in the town of David. Suddenly a great host of heavenly beings appeared with the angels and began singing praises to God. As the angels left, the shepherds decided to travel to Bethlehem and see the Christ-child.

There they found Mary, Joseph and the baby, in the stable. After their visit, they began to spread the word about this amazing child and everything the angel had said about him. They went on their way still praising and glorifying God. But Mary kept quiet, treasuring their words and pondering them in her heart. It must have been beyond her ability to grasp, that sleeping in her arms—the tender child she had just borne—was the Savior of the world.

Wise men from the east saw a star, they came in search, knowing the star signified the birth of the king of the Jews. The wise men came to the Jewish rulers in Jerusalem and asked where the Christ was to be born. The rulers explained, "In Bethlehem in Judea.”

The wise men continued to follow the star in search of the newborn king and found Jesus with his mother in Bethlehem. They bowed and worshipped him, offering treasures of gold, incense, and myrrh.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Geographic location: Bethlehem, Newton, Jerusalem Judea

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