“Poo!” said I! We’re just a bunch of whiners addicted to self pity.
Have you ever thought about what the first Christmas really cost? No, not the gold and frankincense. Though, if I got a box of smelly myrrh paste, I’m not sure I’d be too excited, no matter the cost.
I mean really. Have you thought about this? Christmas ruins lives. Has been for a couple thousand years. If you don’t believe me, then pour yourself a glass of eggnog and read my possibly somewhat completely irreverent telling of the Christmas story.
Sixteen and Pregnant
The story of Christmas is a story of an unplanned pregnancy and an unwed teenage mother.
When you went to your high school guidance counselor to talk about what you wanted to be, did anyone pick “unwed teenage mother?”
That’s because breastfeeding an infant at a school dance is probably the last thing anyone wants to do. If you are thinking of this career track, let me fill you in. You will probably not finish high school, which qualifies you to earn exactly $7.25 an hour at menial, soul-crushing work. This means you will make $15,000 a year (if you can manage to work full time), all of which you will spend on diapers…unless you can exploit your fetus to get on an MTV reality show.
Mary sure didn’t pick “unwed teen mom” with her guidance counselor. She had her act together. But God showed up and wrecked her plans. And if you think $7.25 an hour is bad, Mary’s fiance could’ve had her stoned to death. No one wanted to be an unwed teen mom back then.
Psyched Up for the Wedding Night
Then there’s Joseph who’s worked his butt off for years to pay a dowry so he can marry this girl. And what happens? He pays up, takes his fiance and starts ordering wedding invitations. After all the work and the engagement and the wedding plans that he can’t wait to get through, it will all pay off soon.
And then, Mary tells Joseph that after he’s gone to all this trouble, they’re going to have a baby and he didn’t even get to have the fun of making said baby. God swooped in so there would be no chance of Joseph getting what he had been waiting for. All I can say is that it’s probably a good thing it was Joseph and not me, because I would declare that to be the rip-off of a lifetime.
Also, it’s a good thing those guys showed up with the expensive perfume that Joseph could hock at the bazaar, because there is no other record of God sending child support payments. Again, probably good that it was Joseph and not me, because I’d probably be a tad peeved that the Creator of the universe with infinite resources at his disposal was leaving me, a carpenter just scraping by, to raise his kid. And we all know the kid can take rocks (which we have a million of) and turn them into bread. But does he ever? Noooo. That would make Joseph’s life just too easy.
And if becoming a teen mom, or raising God’s baby for him wasn’t bad enough, Christmas ruined a whole lot more lives.
People have motivated by Jesus to kill each other long before the Crusades. Sweet little eight pound, six ounce newborn baby Jesus, just watching his Baby Einstein development videos, learning about shapes and colors, who doesn’t even know anything, yet he’s still omnipotent, yes that baby Jesus inspired a genocide before he could talk.
That’s a pretty ghastly turn of events. But that’s what king Herod wanted. When we’re Christmas shopping and making out hard and fast under some plant in our doorways, we don’t think about the king who had a bunch of toddlers killed.
When Jesus shows up, he ruins plans. He did it all his life. He did it before he was born. Maybe he wants to ruin some of your plans. After all, even for all the grief it caused, Christmas seems to have worked out for the world, right?