Growing up, I never thought the story of the first Christmas was very interesting.
Oh sure, it’s a nice story, but for a ten-year-old boy who couldn’t even begin to grasp the meaning of the word “Incarnation,” the Christmas story was the one with the cute baby surrounded by barnyard animals.
But as I got older and the thrill of Santa Claus became a nostalgic memory, different aspects of the Nativity began to shift into focus. Though I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, it began to feel as if we were retelling a Disneyfied version of the Nativity out of a misplaced sense of moral obligation and comfortability.
Or maybe we just don’t know another way to tell it.
There is an undercurrent of darkness pulsing in the background of this ancient story that we’ve mostly overlooked in favor of feel-good sentimentality and narrative predictability.
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