As much as can be told, the first Christmas was anything but silent and joyful. It was a time of fear, terror and uncertainty. The land was dominated by a foreign power, governed as a police state, everyone was told what to do and what not to do, and no one was sure who is friend or foe. It was a dreadful time.
It was also a disturbing time. The familiar “old” was being suddenly jolted by the advent of an unfamiliar “new”. People had to be taken out of familiar routines. The quiet life of Mary and Joseph in Nazareth was disturbed by their need to go to Bethlehem to register. The quiet nurture of a baby in a womb was disturbed by a strenuous trek to a far place. The quiet watch over a flock was disturbed by an outstanding news of a Savior being born. The quiet routines of study and contemplation of three wise men was disturbed
by a beckoning star. The quiet relishing of puppet power (by Herod) was disturbed by a news that someone was born to take him out of power. Disturbing indeed – but all leading to the serenity of hope (more powerful than fear), of a promise of salvation (more powerful than despair), and of peace (overwhelming all un-peace). The “old” constant struggle to please God was being disturbed by a “new” birth of a Child through whom God would be surely pleased with all creation.
So it was in the first Christmas. The joy of a Savior born created an occasion for worship, and worship became the heart of peace and joy. Worship created meaning, and meaning became a cause for merriment.
BEN S. MALAYANG III