And yet… that first appearance of Jesus—Immanuel—“God-with-us”—speaks powerfully about us as humans, at our worst and our best. As such, this passage may be one of the most important in the entire Gospel of Matthew on how to have a truly human Christmas. And that, as we will see, is in fact the best kind of Christmas of all.
Though the stories of Matthew 2 are familiar to many of us, the world in which they occur can seem far-off and foreign. A baby heralded as a miraculous Messiah? Migrating magi? A murderous king? To me, these characters seem better cast for a blockbuster movie plot than a reference point for my own everyday life.