The Noise of Christmas
The reverberating Christmas songs in crowded shopping centres. The chattering of people and the noise of their cars viewing Christmas lights on houses in our congested local streets. Carol singers on street corners. Carols by candlelight events on national television and in parks and reserves around the nation. The rowdy exuberance of workplace Christmas functions and the mixed emotions displayed at the end of school year activities.
This busy noise is almost enough to silence the other Christmas story.
There is a whisper of another story that lives beyond a few days of festivities. An old story that points to a hope that does not dissipate once the party is over. A story that is not dependent on goodwill and warm greetings that evaporate as the normal routines of life return. A story that offers the possibility of new beginnings.
A simple story about a young woman and her unexpected pregnancy. The birth in an unrefined stable of Jesus, Immanuel which means God with us. You can hear whispers of it in nativity scenes in shop windows or the voices of the singers heralding a holy night or the pithy statement that Jesus is the reason for the season.
As Will Small says in his prose at www.otherstory.com.au, there might appear to be two stories but really there is only one Christmas story. If we have ears to hear it then that simple birth story breaks into our own. The wonder, the awe, the baby, now intersecting with our story in our houses, work places, our worlds. Calling us to hear afresh the story of the magnificence of God’s glory in Jesus invading our ordinary world promising restoration, hope and purpose.
This is the Christmas story of God’s gracious gift that opens the way to new a perspective with eternal consequences helping to make sense of our daily lives. You can read the story again in the Bible in chapter 2 of Luke’s Gospel.
Rev Keith Jobberns
National Ministries Director
Australian Baptist Ministries