The Christmas Story Today?

I used to believe that poor Mary and Joseph had it pretty tough. You know, walking and riding on a donkey 80 miles to Bethlehem all so they could pay taxes. Then finding no place to stay birthing their Son in a stall and cradling Him in a manger.

And then I got to thinking. What if they had lived today? Would that have been better?

When angels appeared hovering over the stable, someone would have certainly protested claiming that, after all, angels are generally regarded as religious symbols. And Mary lovingly laying the babe in a manger that resembled a nativity scene would certainly be totally unacceptable to the ACLU.

Possibly if Joseph could have rounded up some reindeer to stand with the sheep and the donkey, they might have avoided a legal hassle, but then the SPCA might have stepped in to accuse them of human dominance incarcerating animals against their will in a penned environment. And if that weren’t sufficient, possibly a snowman could have been conspicuously placed among the bales of hay—or was that a snow "person"? But even then the real troubles would have begun when the wise men showed up. They were certainly not gender inclusive, to say nothing of the lack of multicultural representation.

And what about Mary? A virgin having a baby? Right! Come on Joseph. She could have just had an abortion and saved all the fuss. After all most people would probably only remember the event by having big office parties and giving spendy presents to each other anyway. No, Mary, maybe you gave birth to Jesus just at the right time, just when you should have. At least I’d like to remember it that way.

On behalf of all your friends at the North Pacific Union Conference, I’d like to remind you that among the tinsel and candy canes the true meaning of Christmas is still wrapped up in swaddling clothes. Merry Christmas!

December 01, 2003 / Editorial