What makes a hat person? Are you one? Baseball hats, sunhats, beanies, berets, straw, or woolen, hats can serve many roles and purposes. Some hat wearers just want to shade their eyes from the sun, while others make a fashion statement; I like to keep my head warm in the frigid winter months of the Midwest, USA.
Most of our hats are utilitarian- they serve a mundane purpose, but one that we can’t help but identify with giving a message about ourselves. That was much more true in past generations than today, when every self respecting businessman, and women when they dressed up to go to church or downtown, wore a hat.
At some point headwear came to designate rank in society, and from ancient times a crown was worn to signal authority. The king was the one with a crown.
Hidden inside the Christmas story is the story of a king. This is the rightful king of the whole earth, but he has many enemies who would like to have the crown for themselves. They plot against him with strategies, but on every hand they are foiled. The young king is taken to safety in a far country, and then brought back under cover to the place where he is to be crowned and recognized as the rightful claimant to not only one throne… but all the thrones in the universe.
It is a plot with twists and turns, and one of such an unexpected nature that -though hinted to in mysterious messages from sacred texts- no one guesses the outcome.
That, dear friends, is the story of Jesus the Messiah and, if it were not considered so commonplace amongst us, it is a real page turner of story. How did we come to take such a thing for granted? If we do take it for granted.
But every Christmas is the chance to retell this amazing account of the Rightful King of all creation, and how he has included us in the good news of his reign. Long Live the King! The hearty acclamation has a whole new meaning for us all since not only does our King reign forever, but we reign with him.
How did we come to such a wonderful position?
It begins like this:
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
Sing the carol “Angels We Have Heard on High” or “Angels from the Realms of Glory”.
The Jesse tree ornament is the Crown.