Alternate Endings to the Christmas Story

post date: December 19, 2007
Keith Drury imagines some alternate endings to the Christmas story. Here is his list:
2. A man gets a divorce.
What if Joseph had done what everyone else did—dump this girl who was pregnant-but-not-by-him?
3. A dad stays home.
What if Joseph had ducked his duty to enroll in the census so that an evil government could get more money—besides would God expect such a long journey with a wife 39 weeks pregnant?
4. A family skips church.
What if Joseph and Mary had skipped the temple visit so soon after childbirth—wouldn’t God be better served if they stayed in Bethlehem under Herod’s radar?
5. Old saints keep quiet.
What if Anna and Simeon felt prompted to say something about a little child but suppressed their thoughts and kept their prayers to themselves?
6. Scholars continue study.
What if the Magi had delayed action to continue studying—wouldn’t God expect them to be more thorough?
7. Workers go back to sleep.
What if the shepherds had applauded the choir then rolled over and went back to sleep?
8. A Family doesn’t move.
What if Joseph had dismissed his crazy dream and settled down in Bethlehem—certainly Bethlehem is a better town for a messiah than Egypt?
9. Scholars invite the king to worship.
What if the Magi did what they were told to—traveled back to Jerusalem giving Herod the location where he could go worship the child?
10. A family stays put.
What of Joseph just stayed put in Egypt after Herod died—couldn’t the savior of the world come from Egypt just as well as Israel?
Here is his conclusion:
These alt. endings never happened, so what’s the lesson? Maybe we are reminded here that little promptings from God and our little actions change the course of history. We should watch for God’s promptings in saying yes or no, getting a divorce or staying together, skipping or attending church or even staying put or moving away from home. God may not send the angel Gabriel or come to us often in dreams but He still speaks and our obedience to His prompting can change the course of our life’s history.

My personal comment: The Christmas story contains a marvelous picture of God’s sovereign plan unfolding in the lives of ordinary people who were open to God’s Spirit. Joseph and Mary, the shepherds, the Magi, Simeon and Anna–they show us what it means to trust God in the face of enormous difficulty, and in so doing, they were part of God’s plan to bring his Son to this world. Some knew more, some knew less, but none understood in advance all the Father intended at Bethlehem.
Let this thought encourage you today. Your life may seem rather mundane, but you never know what God intends to do through you. Who knows? You may be part of something much bigger than anything you can imagine.


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Ray Pritchard
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