The Christmas story

John Fryters

The longer we live in Canada, the more society is being secularised and is becoming more pluralistic. Gradually, there is a move away from the true meaning of Christmas. However, to move totally away from these statutory holidays all together is going to be very, very difficult.

I believe Christmas Day and Boxing Day are here to stay for a long time to come.

If we truly live in a pluralistic society, then we all owe it to each other to learn about each other’s traditions and practices.   Ramadan (Islam), Dawali (Hinduism). Yom Kippur (Judaism), Dharma Day (Buddhism) are all special days to thousands of Canadians.

Besides Easter (Resurrection Sunday), Christmas is, most likely, the second most important holiday on the Christian calendar.  Here is the story, as recorded by the Apostle Luke :

2 1-5 About that time Caesar Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Empire.

This was the first census when Quirinius was governor of Syria. Everyone had to travel to his own ancestral hometown to be accounted for. So Joseph went from the Galilean town of Nazareth up to Bethlehem in Judah, David’s town, for the census. As a descendant of David, he had to go there.

He went with Mary, his fiancée, who was pregnant.

6-7 While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. She gave birth to a son, her firstborn. She wrapped him in a blanket and laid him in a manger, because there was no room in the hostel.

8-12 There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God’s angel stood among them and God’s glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.”

13-14 At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God’s praises:

Glory to God in the heavenly heights,

Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.

15-18 As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the sheepherders talked it over. “Let’s get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us.” They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. Seeing was believing. They told everyone they met what the angels had said about this child. All who heard the sheepherders were impressed.

19-20 Mary kept all these things to herself, holding them dear, deep within herself.

The sheepherders returned and let loose, glorifying and praising God for everything they had heard and seen. It turned out exactly the way they’d been told!

 (Luke 2:1-20Message Translation)

This story was recorded four times by the Gospel writers Matthew, Luke, Mark and John.  Christians believe, by faith, that this story was God inspired and as a true historical account of the birth of Jesus, the Author of their faith.

That is what Christmas is all about.    My wife Hannelore and I wish you all, my readers, a very Merry Christmas and a Joyous and Healthy New Year 2020. 

Please if you have a question about the content of any of my columns, do not hesitate to let me know.   Blessings.

John Fryters is a 71-year old senior who is passionate about helping his peer group.  He can be contacted through e-mail at or through