There is a new movie put out by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints called the Christ Child, free to watch and about 15 minutes long that I watched today. I found the movie very touching and amazingly well done.
In my previous post I spoke about how I believe the entire birth narrative of Jesus of Nazareth was probably a complete fabrication. However, that doesn’t mean that I can not be moved by a beautiful story and that is what I want to discuss in this post. Why does the nativity move and touch us so deeply?
Young and Married ready to take on the world
For many years people would get married when they were younger, had an uncertain future, and very little resources. The narrative of Joseph not being able to provide a respectable shelter for his pregnant wife certainly strikes a chord in the newly found father who must now be a man and provide for his family.
Mary, an example of trusting God and her husband and knowing she would be ok was a strong example for women everywhere. It wouldn’t be abnormal in that time period if Mary were only 15 years old when Jesus was born. Feeling like her baby was the hope of the entire world is perhaps how many people feel when they bring a new child into the world.
The story of Mary and Joseph traveling to Bethlehem and giving birth to Jesus in such lowly circumstances provides hope to all young people just starting out on their own that they too can prosper and do good.
With the shift of society into equality of genders and marrying later in life the story may not resonate as much anymore. I would be interested to know people’s feelings on that matter. But even now it is still only women that can bare children. The woman has to endure the pain alone. The partner can only watch and agonize as the person they love suffers. But after much suffering, the joy of bringing a child into the world gives birth to the expression: “worth the pain”.
Hope for our children
The nativity in Luke paints a beautiful pastoral picture of Shephard’s and cattle, oxen, and angels singing. The song “silent night” describes this so beautifully. In the song “O little Town of Bethlehem” it says: “the hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight. ”
When we see a newborn child enter the world whether it be our own or someone else’s we see this blank face. A precious child that is an empty canvas. The child can become anyone. The future is wide open.
Our hopes as parents is that they grow to do great things: cure cancer, invent time travel, discover the fountain of youth, etc.
Our fears as parents is that they grow up to do terrible things like, become rapists, killers, or politicians. Hehe. Well, politicians are probably ok.
The point is when the Shepherds and magis come they see the child for who he is to become: someone important. Someone who will bring peace. Don’t we all wish this for our own children? That speaks to the desires of our souls.
While you may not believe in the birth narrative of Jesus, there is still a lot of peace and comfort you can get by reflecting upon it:
- the hope that a new marriage or partnership will bring you happiness.
- The hope that your children will grow, be healthy, and do good things in the world
My wish is that you may have the peace this story gives in your life during this Christmas time.