A queen’s Christmas message

Well, at least 2:8 is plausible.

2:1 And it came to pass 10 years after the death of Herod the Great, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world – except those irrelevant bits that the Romans hadn’t conquered – should be taxed.

2:2 (And this taxing was first made when Quirinius was governor of Syria during what – by a large stretch of the imagination – may have been his second term, his first (entirely undocumented) term having been in 4 BCE, during which an (entirely undocumented) census almost certainly didn’t take place either.)

2:3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own ancestors’ city, in direct contravention of previous Roman policy and of common sense.

2:4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth – perhaps using his wooden time-machine to travel back through the centuries required for the town to come into existence – into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem.

2:5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with her child, whom she claimed – completely plausibly – to have fallen into her womb from heaven, rather than to have been formed in the usual grisly fashion.

2:6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered of her son, in accordance with a variety of mistranslated prophesies that meant something quite different.

2:7 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, this being full of the whole population of Judea, who – like Joseph – had unrealistic ideas about Fisher’s relatedness coefficient and the importance of Y chromosomes.

2:8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

2:9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them. The glory and bowel-loosening terror of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid, particularly of the cherubim.

2:10 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 some value of ‘people’. And of ‘all’.

2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a man who is God, and also the son of God, and also the son of a girl from a town that doesn’t exist. But definitely not the son of Joseph. Despite the effort we’ve gone to in establishing his back-story.

2:12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the logical abomination wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger, possibly attended by a number of Persian priests or kings or wise-men, whom the author of this document will casually forget to mention.

2:13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the four-faced, six-winged heavenly host praising God, and saying,

2:14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and good will toward men, except Monophysites, Monothelites, Arians, Nestorians, Manichaeans, Marcionites, Ebionites, Sadducees, Pharisees, Docetists, Cathars, and especially not towards those bloody atheists.

2:15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

2:16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

2:17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child, surely much to Joseph’s delight.

2:18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. You would wonder about it, wouldn’t you? Wouldn’t you?

2:19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart, for she knew that her remaining verses were numbered.

2:20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

2:21 And (as will probably be prudishly edited out when you hear this read in the dim and distant future), when eight days were accomplished for the cutting off of part of the child’s penis, his name was called Joshua, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

A very Merry Joshuamas to you all.

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