The story of the baby who was born in a stable
When you hear the news that an heir to the throne was born, you instantly associate a palace, attendants, luxurious gifts, and so much of glister with that specific moment. But in Bethlehem, sometime near the 1 A.D. an infant was born- King and Kin to all, but with none of the above mentioned luxuries. Baby Jesus was born in a stable, and was placed in a manger as soon as he was born, instead of a comfortable cot. What, exactly does this signify to us?
The Lord was born poor, to poor parents who were fleeing death; parents whom were rejected every place they tried for shelter. What made this shepherd boy “King” then? There’s no doubt answering that question. It was His spirit- the soul so full of humane love. The Son of God broke through the conventional chains that keep man a slave to other men, – status. He brought to the world an important message where deed was placed above creed. This is exactly what we forget when celebrating Christmas. Lord was born with nothing apart from God’s grace and a kind heart, but today we celebrate this very birth with so much of hustle and bustle which actually makes the whole situation so ironic. There’s a deep message in Christ’s birth that we have totally disregarded. Let us see what this is.
Jesus represented the poor people who had no grand shelter, no food and receive no help from those who ‘have’. When we celebrate His birth, then from where did all this partying come? Shouldn’t we be giving to those who don’t receive? The true spirit of Christmas is not to dance around a decorated tree. The tree is shelter, and shelter we should give to those who have no place to go to keep warm in this cold month of snow. We spend hours shopping for Christmas gifts. A gift is what we freely give to others. Jesus receiving the gifts from the Magi symbolized the ‘have’s sharing their goods with the ‘have not’s. A real Christmas gift will therefore reach those who usually do not receive gifts on a daily basis. Christmas is not only a party where you can stuff yourselves with so much of food that you can’t even walk home in the end, or drink so much that you totally forget what day it is. No, Christmas is not this. When we say we celebrate, we celebrate a victory of a good heart over the pre-defined social conventions where only those who are born to a certain class were permitted to become ‘Lords’.
In Christmas what we should realize is this simple truth; that it is not where you were born or how wealthy you are that defines who you will be one day. A King (or Queen) is not necessarily born in a palace. If you have a heart full of love for the human kind and the animal kind; for everyone, this is what makes you a king- a significant human being. To celebrate Christmas is to celebrate all this. The baby who was born in a stable meant us to see the reality where love and kindness is to share what you have with others. Spread love and compassion, and the Lord will be with you. Make sure that the ‘fun’ of Christmas lies in making someone else smile. Like St. Nicolas, spread happiness for those who want it the most, for this is the truth of Christmas.