Little fanfare for Jesus’ birth

December 18, 2022 4th Sunday Advent Year A

When there is a major announcement of a forthcoming event, it is usually accompanied by a media statement and even a press conference. Sometimes social media influencers are also invited to create some excitement and “buzz” around the announcement. Companies like Apple, Tesla and Boeing spend millions of dollars to launch their latest products worldwide.


Similarly, when a famous celebrity couple welcomes a new addition to the family, it’s all over the news services and social media, sometimes for days on end. It’s like no other news is worthy of airtime.


However, when God chose human form in Bethlehem, there was no spectacular announcement. There were no bells and whistles, no fireworks. In fact, there was nothing but a bright star that attracted little attention except for a few wise men who travelled from the east. The birth of Jesus probably didn’t attract much interest outside the immediate families of Joseph and Mary, perhaps to spare Mary embarrassment such was the unusual nature of the baby’s arrival.


The biggest event the universe has witnessed had taken place with little fanfare. In the scheme of things, this was even bigger than the creation of the universe itself. Even the universe must have ‘held its breath’.

That speaks of God preferring to work quietly, unseen and unnoticed. Choosing to be like many of us who work quietly in our offices, schools, our homes.


For many people, our lives are simple and uneventful. Nothing spectacular happens and little that would warrant much outside attention. But it is in that simple, uneventful and unspectacular ‘living’ that God comes as one of us in order to bring us all closer to God. That’s what happened to Joseph and Mary and that same invitation is also open to everyone. That’s the underlying meaning of the name Emmanuel, “God is with us”. That God wants to be with us in the very ordinariness of our lives.


The world today can sometimes be loud, vulgar and crass which is opposite to God coming to us in a quiet, ordinary way as a normal man. That’s why the angel said to Joseph that there is no need to be afraid because God will come to be his son like any ordinary boy.


Big announcements and even big events will come, and they will go. Prominent companies and famous people will come and eventually be confined to the history books, but God is the one constant. Perhaps it is not us who waits for God, but God with loving patience who waits for us. We need to realise that God is amongst us now in our everyday, mundane lives and will be with us for all eternity.


Mark Chia CSsR

© Majellan Media 2022

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