With most of the Christmas shopping done and dusted by now, it’s perhaps time to reflect on the real meaning of Christmas. Of course, Christmas was not always about hustle and bustle. The very first Christmas featured only one child, yet to be born.
The arrival of Jesus was met with hopeful parents, guided by a single star in the night sky. On the eve of his birth, they walked for a long time, faithful that they would reach their destination. Mary and Joseph sought many places to stay that their first-born be welcomed to the world safely and in comfort. Despite their efforts, their pleas were rejected, leaving them outside in the cold.
When his birth did occur the young child’s parents were thankful. Shepherds and kings brought guidance and gifts and although the people of the area shunted the new born child and his family, glory had come to earth and Jesus went on to devote his life to helping others, in spite of the constant rejection.
During the run up to Christmas, there has been a market in Eyre Square with a spectacular of lights and food, a big wheel and nick knacks to behold, igniting our imagination. Yet, this Christmas, as with every other, it is important to be thankful for our warm homes and for the good people around us. Only yards from the market this year, people lie in doorways feeling as if they are treated perhaps with less respect than the little donkey that carried Mary along the dusty road to the stable on that very first Christmas night.