From The Wrong Messiah:
‘Few stories have exercised such a grip on the collective imagination of the Western world as the story of Jesus’ birth. In thousands of churches, schools and playgroups hard-hearted innkeepers turn away cherubic Marys and their usually embarrassed boy-hus- bands. Surprisingly clean shepherds tend flocks of cotton-wool sheep, angelic choirs sing, and a pink and plastic baby Jesus is carefully laid in the manger of yellow straw. The event has become a foundation myth of the cult of consumerism, legitimising three days of overspending and overindulgence.
But the real story is harsher. More dangerous. It begins with shame and scandal, and ends with a massacre. Not much cause for celebration there, one would think…’
There was no stable. And no inn, either. The visitors were eastern magi, not kings. And the shepherds were unclean, impure, outcasts whose words counted for nothing in a court of law.
And the central characters? A teenage girl. A young man. And a peasant baby, who would grow up to change the world.
If you want to rediscover the true, first Christmas, then download a sample chapter from The Wrong Messiah.
Happy Christmas, everyone.