If you are someone who likes to read religious texts as allegory, then you can have some fun with the Christmas Story. I put myself back in time to when the story started. 2,000 years ago in the eastern parts of the Roman Empire there must have been little opportunity for people who were not born into the right circumstances, or for people who did not have the ruthless ambition to fight to the top.
For normal folks, there was no chance of upward mobility. The only chance your family had was to have enough kids who could work hard and help you get a little excess something you could sell to raise a few gold coins. But if you had too many children, or had them too early, you spent your life in poverty, trying to feed the kids at least once a day.
For normal folks, there was also no birth control. It must have been quite common for young women to become pregnant while getting to know the person they were betrothed to. The stigma of a child born too early (before 9 months of marriage) must have been debilitating in and of itself.
So what to do? Why not celebrate the miracle of birth? Why not celebrate the promise that each baby brings; the promise that he or she could be the one who could bring peace and prosperity to a family, a nation, a world?
Why not tell a story that paints the divine nature of birth in such a strong light as to trump the stigmas of the day?
What is the possibility a child can bring to the world? Apparently it is huge. Why else would Kings periodically have all the babies of their subjugated Kingdoms murdered?
What is the reality? All the great people in history who helped give the world a positive push started as babies. Some started in very humble circumstances. So the story of a baby born into poverty and disadvantage who grows to be a great leader has come true many, many times
So whether a child is born to you or to me or to a refugee family in a barn, each child brings enormous promise to our world; a world that needs leaders and thinkers and peace makers.
What can you do today to honor a child? In some places, children will be feeling special today and tomorrow by receiving gifts, playing games and gathering with friends and family members.
May they grow up to be much wiser than you and I are.