Today in a Manager

Description:

Each year as Christmas approaches, familiar traditions fall into place: carols, festive decorations and the Christmas tree. We order the turkey and write Christmas cards. Too often, the Christmas story only impinges on the periphery of our busy lives. Without the coming of the baby Jesus we would have no Christmas, simply a winter festival, as in pagan times.

However, we all know the story quite well. In this book you’ll see the unfolding story, as it is presented in the gospels, from a new perspective. My intention is to help you think through what is happening and to meditate on its significance. I ask fresh questions. Why does the Gospel of Matthew start the Christmas story with a list of 46 names? What are four women with dubious sexual history doing within this list? What did people expect when Messiah came? What is the role of angels, so frequently within the story? Why did Mary flee Nazareth when told she had become pregnant? I try getting inside Joseph’s mind as he deals with the incomprehensible news that his fiancé is pregnant by the Holy Spirit.

If she truly was carrying God’s Son, why did Mary have to give birth in a manger among the animals? If you wanted to broadcast the news that Messiah had come would you choose as your first evangelists smelly, noisy shepherds? What was the role of Simeon and Anna in the temple when Mary and Joseph came to dedicate their son to God?

What did the wise men know about a promised Messiah/King which led them to follow a supernova in the sky for six hundred miles west to Jerusalem? The Exodus from Egypt is the great redemptive story of the Old Testament. However, as refugees Mary Joseph and Jesus suffered immensely when they fled to Egypt. Why is suffering so central to Christianity?