Contrary to what many people believe, My Dearly Beloved Sinners, there’s more to Christmas than just giving expensive presents to your Vicar. It is in fact a time full of wonder, a season of ever-unfolding mysteries.
Consider, for example, the wise men from the east. That we hear nothing further of them in Scripture is undoubtedly because the early church recognized the inappropriateness of their gifts, and decided to avoid any future contact. I mean to say, what kind of gifts are gold, frankincense, and myrrh for a male infant? What’s wrong with something more traditional, like cigarettes, handguns, and plenty of ammunition? And why didn’t they also bring Joseph something; say a Cuban cigar and DVD of babes in bikinis demonstrating the evils of communism? Call me old-fashioned, but I’ve never trusted men who give girly presents and feign an interest in astrology.
Or why were the names of Mary’s midwives not recorded? Perhaps Bethlehem’s medical services were also in the process of socialist transformation, and the nurses were doing a little moon-lighting on the side for cash? Or did Mary give birth alone and unassisted in the privacy of a public lavatory, thereby enjoying the very same right that Republicans are today bravely fighting to preserve for single and impoverished young women?
And the shepherds: why were they permitted to take up space in the infant Christ’s presence that could have been offered to more important people? Wasn’t there anyone in town who understood the basics of Strategic Ministry and the trickle-down effect? Or what happened to their flocks while they were away? Did the angels fill in during their absence? And if so do the angels work for the standard subsistence rate, or has heavenly unionization enabled them to collectively bargain for better conditions?
No; the more deeply one examines the events of this far off Christmas morning the more one is faced by questions. We may never know the answers, itself a great blessing to anyone seeking an interesting topic for their doctoral thesis, but one thing we do know: God is vastly more complex and wonderful than any of us can dare imagine. Otherwise it’s a certainty this whole messy incarnational mystery would have been rejected long before any little drummer boy could have even started playing his per-ruppa-pum-bum business. On his drum, ad infinitum. And as a special treat for you all I’m now not going to link to the Bob Seger version recorded in 1987. I’m Father Christian, and occasionally I do show mercy.
After all, it is Christmas, and I’d like each and every one of you to have a very merry day indeed. God Bless all of you!