Christmas is a time of mystery, mercy and a reminder of men's evil.
If you are a believer, then you believe that a virgin conceived, angels and wise-men appeared and a new star appeared in the heavens. Most people ignored the mysteries. A few heeded them and their lives changed.
The mercy was demonstrated by Joseph and Mary's cousin Elizabeth. When it was clear that Mary was pregnant, Joseph COULD have had her stoned to death but he was visited by an angel and given a choice. He chose mercy. Later, Mary's spent a significant part of her pregnancy with her cousin, presumably away from the wagging tongues of the gossips in her home town.
The evil was when Herod sending his soldiers into Bethlehem to kill all baby boys under the age of two. Herod feared that his successor was among their number. Joseph, Mary and Jesus fled Bethlehem and became strangers in a strange land, echoing the flight of Joseph (son of Jacob) into Egypt. One must assume that the later Joseph's skills with his hands were sufficient for him to avoid being trapped into slavery.
The Christmas thought I want to share with you is that we still have mysteries. Pick up the sacred book(s) of your choice and read. You can either embrace the Truth in those books or you can move through life unchanged. If you have the chance, rock a new born baby. How can anybody deny that babies are miracles?
We still have mercies. There are countless people trying to do the right thing, often at great personal cost.
And evil still stalks like a lion around the campfires of civilization. The difference between Herod's killing of infants and abortion is a matter of a few months and a matter of degree. There are still many people who will commit atrocities so they can retain their membership in the cool-kids-posse. The gossips with the wagging-tongues now inhabit social media where their victims cannot confront them.
Christmas is when we celebrate and when we marvel. Christmas is a time when we can take a moment and see the ties that are hidden beneath the froth, crash and glare of everyday life; ties that bind us to the past and to the possible futures.