Those in supreme power always suspect and hate their next heir
Let us for a moment forget the commercial trappings of modern-day Christmas viz; the star that hangs outside homes. The decorated Christmas tree that embellish our living rooms. The tiny blinking LED bulbs, Christmas wreaths and cribs that decorate homes. The improvised versions of carols, old and the new, the cacophonic jarring of some of which leaves the aged among the listeners succumb to heart attacks and strokes. Choirs led by Santas of various shapes and sizes that visit homes for donations. Last but not the least, the wine and cake that add to the ‘spirit’ and sweetness of the season.
Christmas of these times has narrowed down to these peripherals. Visits within and between families, and undertaking pleasure trips, during Christmas holidays declared by places of work and education, special Christmas services at churches like Carol Service have all had their corners cut by protocols made mandatory by the pandemic that continues to hold the world and humans to ransom.
The person whose birthday Christmas is meant to celebrate is conveniently forgotten. That corner stone of the season has been banished to the status of the ‘inconvenient stumbling block’ through numerous misdeeds than one by so-called ‘Christians’. To the supposed followers of the ‘birthday boy’ of the season the humility of the Shepherds and the manger, the colt that carried Mary in her advanced pregnancy in that somber night. The glitterati and royalty of the angelic choir, and the magi from the East led by the star, and heartbreaking wailings of young mothers – the fallout of nervousness and power-avariciousness of Herod mean nothing.
Away from the above said that form the script of the story of the birth of God’s son, Christmas really relates to birth of a heir. It celebrates heirship.
For, there was once a husbandman who owned a vineyard, which he loved dearly. Tending to it was close to his heart. His calling of sorts. Rather, his raison d’être. He made it the best vineyard in that region before hiring people to tend it for him. After the vineyard is leased to the vinepressers, the husbandman leaves for a distant land. Come harvest time, he sent his servants to collect his choicest portion. But the wicked vinepressers treated the servants abominably. They killed one. Stoned the second. Beat another. The husbandman sends a larger group. Results were but the same.
That’s when the husbandman decided to send his own son, expecting better treatment borne on respect.
But, when the vinepressers saw the only heir approaching them, greed took the better of them. They killed him to usurp ownership of the vineyard abounding with choicest produce.
Christmas marks the birth of the husbandman’s heir. The story of the heir’s murder in the hands of the vinepressers on a tree on a sun-beaten hill is yet another sordid tale.
Christmas therefore is the story of husbandman’s attempt to reclaim ownership of his favorite vineyard (read hearts of those he loved much) through his own son. Christmas celebrates birth of that heir and heirship.
The manger-to- the-tree sequence of events is what Christianity is all about. The lowliness and commonplace of the manger and sheppards keeping watch in and despite the cold night, glitterati of the gifts brought from the East by the magi and majesty of the first ever angelic carol service that celebrated the birth of the heir of a vineyard of quality, abounding with produce mustn’t be allowed to degenerate into cobweb-ridden plastic Christmas trees, stars that crumble in the hands of December’s early morning dew and heat of the December midday sun that follows. The cacophony of modern-day ‘carols’. The dust-laden cribs. The clay figurines of the Christmas characters which have had their paint peel off from years of handling. The moth-eaten red outfit of an unkempt Santa Claus.
Christmas is much more than these. It is about the attempt of a husbandman to redeem ownership of the vineyard so precious to him from greedy vinepressers, through his only heir, his son.
That attempt still continues, for hardhearted are the vinepressers. Celebrating Christmas would be an exercise in vain if continuing attempts by the husbandman is turned a blind eye to, and ownership of the vineyard isn’t rightfully restored to Him.