Fruit and veg Christmas story
Do you eat healthily at Christmas? Yes me too. (not!)
But Christmas really is good for you.
So here’s a healthy Christmas message.
The bible starts with a garden full of good things. And just one fruit that the man and the woman weren’t supposed to eat. One apple, one small thing, but they thought they knew better than God and took it. Then they hid. Where did the woman go? Where did the Mango? And we’ve been hiding from God ever since
So God came to seek us. It starts with Mary, a young woman who loved God, meeting a messenger. An angel. It’s an amazing thing to meet an angel
Mary was a bit worried – well you would be - but the angel said Peas be with you. God has chosen you, you’re to have a child, the promised saviour. God is coming to find you.
Cool as a cucumber, Mary said ‘yes’ to God’s will, because she trusted God.
Now Mary was engaged to Joseph, and God had bean speaking to him too. In a dream he was told that this child was Gods, and that he was to look after Mary and the baby.
Soon after, everyone had to go to their home town to pay a tax. Joseph wasn’t very wealthy, he didn’t have a big celery, but the pear of them set off for Bethlehem. A journey of 80 miles or so. They didn’t avocado (have a car though), maybe not even a donkey – the bible doesn’t mention one. So just imagine on foot, Mary pregnant, walking at 1 melon hour, maybe two. A long, tough journey, it took plenty of thyme to get there.
They got to Bethlehem, but it was full. It was a really bad time to turnip. Sorry mush, room at the inn is all taken. People used to keep their animals indoors in winter, in a section of the house, so maybe instead of staying in a guestroom, the innkeeper actually had Mary and Joseph into his own home. And there Jesus was born, and placed in a feeding trough, with animals around him, some sat, suma asleep. They were too poor to have a blanket, so they wrapped Jesus in strips of cloth to stop him getting chilli.
On the hillside outside Bethelehem were shepherds, night security guarding the flocks. Suddenly, more angels! “Peas be with you. To you the saviour is born at last, down there, in Bethlehem”. When the angels had gone the shepherds said to each other: Lettuce go and see this thing the angels have told us about. So they left the sheep and sprinted down to Bethelehem. It must have been a bit of a squash when they all arrived
The Bible also tells of Sages from the East, who followed signs in the sky to find a newborn king, bringing herbs and spices. They first came to the king in Jerusalem, Herod, who was a bit of a bad apple. Herod had a complete ban on another person taking over from him. When Herod heard of the newborn king, he had a bad case of sour grapes, and turned orange, or maybe peach, or even radish (reddish) with rage. Go and find him, then come back and tell me where he is.
The wise men weren’t called wise men for nothing. They went straight to see Jesus to offer their gifts: incense, myrrh, 24 carrot gold – gifts to Jesus for a true king. But they didn’t want the news to Leek out back to Herod, so they took another route home.
Mary, Joseph, shepherds, innkeeper, kings, wise men. But the main person in this story is Jesus.
However you slice it, at the core of all this, is God in human skin, a segment of heaven come down to earth, God’s appeal to everyone, Whether you’re a kiwi, a mandarin or made in Britain, Jesus was born for you. Jesus pips every other Christmas present going. Jesus loves me from my head to-ma-toes, and he loves you too.
The only person who comes out of this story the same as they went in is Herod: he is angry, violent, proud and scary before Jesus is born, and he’s angry, violent, proud and scary after. Everyone else is changed – Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, the wise men. God even changes, becoming one of us, becoming human, to sow a seed of new life into your heart and mine.
God made us to bear fruit, not to be a vegetable. We can be a couch potato, taking life in like we take in all the presents and the food and the tinsel and everything else, but never changing, never growing, never going deeper into love and joy and why we’re here. Or we can let this Christmas, this child, this God, sows a seed in my heart that will bear fruit.
So make Jesus one of your 5 a day, every day, and have a happy, healthy and joyful Christmas.