Hitchin’ a Ride to Bethlehem

Hand of hiker man at rural mountain road. Daybreak.
Hand of hiker man at rural mountain road. Daybreak.

We drag Christmas into our world

rather than enter the world of Bethlehem.

Here is the Solution:

We must humble ourselves and

enter the world of the unexpected.


In the world of our home and friends, Christmas is predictable, arranged, and traditional.  

  • The schedule is familiar from year to year.  
  • The music and pageantry are repeated with beauty and grandeur.  
  • Friends and family, all the familiar faces, join us.
  • We reveal in pattern of meals, gift-exchange, carol singing, and story telling.  

“I’ll be Home For Christmas” describes our experience.  For Christmas, we want to be at home with what is established and constant.  

QUESTION: Why do we so appreciate the expected, the familiar at Christmas?  What would it take for us to look for the unexpected at Christmas?

In the world of Bethlehem, Christmas was precisely the opposite of our familiar routines.  

  • The first Christmas was unpredictable, extraordinary, exceptional, and new.  
  • The first Christmas was the moment and movement of Heaven’s Kingdom on Earth.  
  • With the birth of Jesus came moments and experiences of vision.
  • Individuals saw beyond the ordinary into the extraordinary.  

The curtain between Heaven and Earth parted as Jesus entered our world as the fullness of God in human flesh.  Several people experienced the “extraordinary” in visions and encounters with heavenly messengers:

  • The unexpected came to Zacharias at a high spiritual moment in the temple (Luke 1:8-11).
  • The unexpected came to Mary in the familiar surroundings of her family’s home (Luke 1:26-28).
  • The unexpected came to Joseph during a fitful night of troubling thoughts and difficult choices (Matthew 1:18-21).
  • The unexpected came to the Wise Men through the study of sacred texts and the movement of the stars (Matthew 2:1-2).
  • The unexpected came to the Shepherds in their place of lowly work and humble service (Luke 2:8-9).

In each case, Zacharias, Mary, Joseph, Wise Man, and Shepherds, the prophecy of Isaiah 9:2 was fulfilled, “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light.”  

QUESTION:  How can we open our minds, our hearts and our spirits to the extraordinary gift of the baby born in Bethlehem?  


Copyright (c) Richard Leslie Parrott, Ph.D.

EXTRA – this is awesome https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wI3YpNRC7N4,

The story behind the song, “I’ll Be Home For Christmas.”  The story is anything but ordinary.  It is an extravagant story of love and family and hope in a time of war.

Leave a Reply