I wrote a Christmas story tonight during our Christmas Eve service…
It’s very very rough and depressing, but maybe that’s the point.
This Christmas I don’t feel that triumphant or joyful at all.
The heat was unbearable, the journey had been long and no one really had any idea as to how much longer they had to go until they hit land.
All the food had run out days ago, Joseph had stored up his own provisions over the first week of the trip so as to make sure there was at least a little food for his wife, now 6 months pregnant with his first child.
But the journey was so very long, water so very scarce, and the food, (if that’s what you called it) wasn’t really nourishing for anyone, let alone a pregnant woman so heavy with child.
Surely the journey would be soon, surely they would arrive at their destination in no time, and they’d be safe then, the baby would be fine, Mary, the mother would hold on for dear life to ensure the baby’s safety…
The angel had told them all would be ok, that this was God’s own son, that he would be called Jesus and be the king that the world needed, he alone could reunite us all and bring peace.
They both has seen the angel, surely all would been ok.
But the journey was so long
So very long…
The people that got them out of the dangerous place they were in didn’t seem too concerned that Mary was so pregnant, they were positive all would be ok, but the boat trip had already seen its fair share of tragedy, three of the older people had already died of what they believed was heat stroke, or starvation, or dehydration, or a combination of the above.
It was a miracle they’d made it so far alive..
Surely someone would come and help out soon, they’d been told that the navy would be sent out to help when they were close, but it had been so long since they had seen anyone, and a number of days since their radio had blown up so there was no way of calling for help now…
Days passed and the food had all dried out, the young mother-to-be was struggling, she was certain the kicking of the baby were getting softer and softer, she could hardly feel the young foetus moving inside her…
The young couple were becoming more and more scared as the trip continued, but they had faith, they would be safe, their child would be safe.
It was about then that they saw a ship on the horizon…
They were saved.
The ship escorted them to an island where they were told that they weren’t allowed to go any further, that their journey had ended. The country they had now landed on informed them that Australia had no room for people who arrived by boat and that there was no space for appeal.
Many of them had been planning to make it to Australia were disappointed and upset, the accommodation they now found themselves in was now hot and humid, canvas tenting without much in the way of support and definitely nothing in the way of comfort or support.
Joseph and Mary had other things to worry about, the baby’s health was still under question. The community who, by now had heard their story surrounded them in prayer and asked constantly for hospital care for the mother-to-be. The guards and people running the campsite seemed unconcerned though and spoke of their “rights” as being minimal and that they should be happy with what care they receive, even if they thought it wasn’t enough.
Some guards even made loud comments that the pregnancy was only an attempt for leniency and that they should keep quiet.
Unfortunately, days passed without the doctors sending the couple to hospital and they started to lose faith that care was on its way, and the pains became stronger and more often.
A couple more days passed and the pains stopped, Mary was taken to a hospital for care and the doctors pronounced the baby dead.
Angels cried and screamed in grief
Shepherds on the hillside felt their stomachs turn
Wise men staring at the stars swore they saw some stars vanish out of sight, never to return
The community at the detention centre cried, screamed, starved themselves and held each other close.
Not that anyone else knew, there was no one left to tell their story.
And no one left to listen.
– by Darren Wright