December 24th, 2010
By Deb King, masters in business administration student
Luke 2: 1-18
I can’t help but marvel at how Luke’s account of Christ’s birth seems so utterly commonplace. It may have something to do with the short sentences with very little embellishment – just straight information. It reads a bit like my grandfather’s diaries. “This morning I had cereal for breakfast then drove to work. For dinner, Anna prepared meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and peas – no dessert.” When something special happened in my grandfather’s life, he used a red pen to record it. “Today our first grandchild was born at 9:20 a.m. Mother and baby girl are doing well.” Adjectives are nearly non-existent, so the only sense of passion comes through in the vivid color of the ink.
Luke tells us that the expectant parents had to make a trip to register for the census but were unable to find lodging in the crowded town, so their baby was born in a stable. Sounds like just another day in Luke’s diary – that is, until the shepherds meet the choir of angels. Then Luke begins to use words like “terrified” and “amazed”. As the shepherds leave Bethlehem, Luke’s tone changes in one sentence. The focus switches from the euphoria of the group to the unspoken thoughts of the young mother. “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” I imagine Mary holding her newborn son, gazing at his tiny face, considering who he would become. I wonder if Mary’s diary was filled with red ink or passionately descriptive modifiers. My guess is both.
Lord, as we gaze upon Jesus’ face this season, may our journal entries will be bursting with colorful words, whether we experience exuberant moments with friends and family or quiet, thoughtful moments in solitude.