And so shall we ever be
Published 6:16 am Monday, December 21, 2009
University professors and over-the-road truck drivers don’t often bump into each other, especially not in a barn. Add the factor of this being in place of a hospital’s maternity ward, and they were visiting a new born baby, and you have a huge improbability. Finally, tell them this child is born of a virgin, and all bets are off.
Yet, sagas are made of such stuff: improbabilities, incongruities, impossibilities. Miracles. This was indeed a saga of mythic proportions. Eastern magi and hometown shepherds they were, these in the Bethlehem stable.
Alright, they never actually met. The shepherds dropped in the night of the birth, while the family was still in the borrowed stable, but it took the magi of whatever number about two years to find the by-now toddler and his parents in the house. But for centuries we have put them together in the stable, and only exegetical Scrooges make a fuss over it. Iconic convenience is likely to have suggested this anachronistic juxtaposition, but the heart knows whereof the mind does not.
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It is precisely because God so loved the entire world of magi and shepherds, professors and truckers, that he gave this one-of-a-kind Son that whoever of them would trustingly believe in him would not die in any final sense but would, rather, be gifted with life—the very life of the Son himself, which life is at once everlasting in its quantity and eternal in its quality.
So the magi and shepherds didn’t crowd into the stable together the same night. Not to worry: because of their faith, they soon did so before the Son sitting on his throne at the right hand of the Father of us all. With them are medieval tutors and cattle drovers—and modern professors and truckers. And so shall we ever be.
Merry Christmas, all.