This is not the first time the world has been full of trouble and political upheaval. It is a story of political intrigue, senseless killing of innocent children and eventual redemption and realignment of man's world view.
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. And everyone went to his own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
The Visit of the Magi
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him."
Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8He sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him."
An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "Get up," he said, "take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt . Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him." 14So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt , 15where he stayed until the death of Herod
Slaughter of the Innocent Children
When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi.
After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt 20and said, "Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel , for those who were trying to take the child's life are dead."
(Later Joseph) ... took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel . But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth.
The gift given at Christ's birth is a radical realignment of the relationship of man and the universe. The message is simple and powerful.
You are a special individual with a unique relationship to the Creator of the universe.
You are equal in the Creator's sight to every other human being, no matter their earthly station.
You can decide, you can choose good or evil.
You are encouraged to help your fellow man, but in the end, you are accountable for your decisions.
This is not a world view that existed much before Christianity. It does not exist in North Korea. It is almost the first thing stamped out by communist socialist totalitarian states. Dictators and elites cannot tolerate the idea of a freely acting individual. It is why the left is so often godless and the champion of atheism.
The very idea of the individual is the foundation of America's mutual contract.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights...
I suppose one does not have to be Christian to embrace the idea of the individual, but as a country we should never forget the foundation of our Christmas gift.