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There’s very little about Jesus’ actual birthday that you could call good – at least from a human perspective. No one likes to be taxed! If I had to go back to Pittsburgh so I could then be taxed by the US government – I’d be an unhappy camper! Same with many of you. Imagine having to make a long dangerous trip to… pay taxes! If you’re a woman, imagine being 9 months pregnant – knowing that you would have to give birth where no one you knew – except your husband, could help! And, of course, Mary went into labour once they got to Bethlehem. Now we know Jesus had to be born there – but Mary didn’t! Now we send cards with cute sheep and cows and donkeys – with a smiling baby on clean straw – out in a shed on a starry night. It seems peaceful – almost a little romantic! But at the time, it was every Dad’s and every Mom’s worst scenario. It wasn’t good by any stretch of the imagination! And yet – it was so spectacular that angels showed up and sent a gaggle of visitors – who also weren’t ideal and on the level of carnies in our world. But what God was doing in the middle of not good, not ideal, un-sanitized, events and places brought peace. Just like the angels said, Glory to God, peace on earth, good will to all of humanity. Don’t give up on peace when it seems like everything in your world is fighting against it!

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