“For with God nothing shall be impossible”. Luke 1:37
Christmas is the season for the unusual, unbelievable, and the impossible. Unfortunately some people continue to pursue their own version of the pre-packaged perfect Christmas complete with expensive gifts under the tree and a food laden table full of calorie free cookies, pies, and other delectable seasonal offerings. Who says we have to celebrate a “traditional” Christmas?
It was far from the traditional holiday season in Europe in 1914 in the midst of the war to end all wars. In the cold, muddy trenches soldiers from opposing sides exchanged fire until Christmas Eve.
No one is exactly sure how it started, perhaps a German soldier with a small Christmas tree peeking from the trenches. Others think it was soldiers trying to observe the holiday with singing. No matter what the language, the melody was the same. However, by Christmas morning an unofficial cease fire was agreed upon by the soldiers. Some think it was merely to bury the dead, but others seized the opportunity to emerge from the trenches and approach the enemy.
Reports of the day included exchanging food sent from home accompanied by well wishes. The air was filled with laughter and singing instead of bullets and bombs. There was even an impromptu game of soccer. It lasted until the superior officers who were miles away in a chateau heard about it. In some places the cease fire lasted for days until the soldiers were ordered to resume firing at each other or possibly face the firing squad for disobeying orders.
Impossible? Yes, but it really happened.
What do you get when you mix a crooner with a heavy metal singer? No, this isn’t a joke. In 1977, David Bowie was trying to become more of a mainstream singer when he agreed to appear on the Bing Crosby Christmas special. In September of that year the two of them met and a special chemistry developed between them.
David Bowie didn’t really want to sing “The Little Drummer Boy” so a new arrangement of two songs (the other was “Peace on Earth”) were combined into a beautiful, flowing song. In less than an hour these two seemingly totally different singers recorded this new classic. It was Bing Crosby’s last Christmas special as he died a month later from a massive heart attack.
Impossible? Yes, but it happened.
The most unusual and impossible Christmas story of all involved a young teenage girl and a miraculous virgin birth. When Mary was told by the angel that she would bear the Son of God she asked how it could happen.
The angel told her that with God nothing was impossible. It is hard to imagine all that she went through in the months leading up to the birth of Jesus. No one knows how much the harsh, accusing words hurt her and Joseph. We will never know how hard that trip to Bethlehem was for her that led to giving birth in less than ideal circumstances.
I think of how often we refuse to let God work through us, especially during the Christmas season. How many times do we miss a blessing because we fail to try something new or reach out to someone we don’t know very well.
This Christmas I challenge readers to look outside the box of tradition and embrace something unusual, unbelievable, or seemingly impossible.
Impossible? Yes, but it could happen.