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Friday, December 24, 2010

The Minor Players

The Christmas narrative is a beautifully woven story full of dramatic moments and lively celebrations. Jesus is born! The virgin has given birth to a Son! The angels proclaim it and the shepherds act upon it. We can surely imagine the various thoughts and actions these characters exhibited that starry evening, but what about those other guys? Mary and Joseph's family and friends, Caesar's administration, fellow travelers on the road to various cities, and the business-only minded innkeeper also played a part in this spectacular storyline. What comes to mind when you think about the characters that are hardly mentioned?
  • Family and Friends  - I can certainly envision the whispering and gossip that surrounded the young couple. The speculations and assumptions that quietly, or not so quietly, circulated among the relatives. Would they ever believe the truth? 
  • Caesar - Did he ever realize that his decision to order a census would fulfill an ancient prophecy? Jesus' birth had to occur in Bethlehem and God used the government to help accomplish His will!
  • Fellow Travelers - What were conversations like between Mary and Joseph and the other journeymen? Did they ever try to explain their "situation" or did they keep the details of God's miraculous conception to themselves?
  • The Innkeeper - Did he ever find out who exactly he had turned away that wondrous evening? Did he ever regret his decision or did he merely pass the couple off as a slight nuisance?
Thinking about the other characters in the story can help you visualize the entire account and give you a completely new perspective. Sometimes, I tend to overlook all the events that take place in this story because I am so familiar with the Biblical account. May I never become so accustomed to the splendor and majesty of that life-changing night!

This year, when you incorporate Luke 2 into the festivities of the Holiday, really think about the scenery, the circumstances, and especially the emotions of various characters, whether they are mentioned or not. Put yourself in the shoes of Mary and Joseph's family and friends, Caesar, the travelers, and the innkeeper. Use your imagination and I think you will be surprised at how much more the story comes to life!

Have a very Merry Christmas!


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