Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Surprises by Andy Scheer

I expect you've made plans for Christmas – and the following days. Perhaps traveling, spending time with family, and enjoying favorite foods. Then if you're fortunate, finding some undisturbed time to write.

I hope your plans – and mine – come together. But if you have your heart set on a traditional Christmas, consider how the tradition got started.

Joseph and Mary had surely made wonderful plans for their future. But God intervened and those plans took a completely unexpected direction.

Then the government intervened. A sweeping tax program imposed by unwanted authorities meant the couple had to travel for days at the worst time of year.

The crowds and inconveniences of Christmastime travel began in the first century. Although facing an emergency, Joseph and Mary couldn't get a room reservation. Sometimes godly people pray that their precarious situation will become stable, only to have it happen literally.

When the crisis had passed and the couple and their newborn had a moment to themselves, unexpected company arrived. In that culture, getting a late night visit from shepherds was nothing to sing about.

Traditions are fine, but be careful what you wish for. Today, I'll keep my eyes on the weather forecast. Key people we're expecting have a long drive that crosses a mountain pass. Others in our family are trying to balance time with in-laws. We expect our home to be filled, including a toddler and a visiting, active dog. I hope everyone stays healthy.

Given all that may happen tomorrow, I'll try to keep the perspective of that first Christmas if I can get to my keyboard the following day.

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