The Wonder of the Christmas Story
Don’t you love the story of the birth of Jesus? For me it’s like a favorite blanket I get out every Christmas to wrap myself in. It’s familiar, it’s traditional, and it’s one of my favorite stories. If you’re like me, you’ve most likely heard it so often you could recite Luke 2 without even trying.
Often what happens when something is familiar is that we forget the wonder of it. The story is so familiar we forget to pause and truly think about it. When we’re telling the story (whether it’s to children or people of any age), it is especially important that we still allow ourselves to be impacted by it.
Recently, I was leading a group of 9th grade girls through the Christmas story. We gathered around a tiny manger scene and I read Luke 2 to them. I asked them to look at the different characters and think about who they most identified with. Honestly, I had my doubts about this working with a group of 14-year-old girls. As I read, they began to place their pieces of paper by the figurine in the manger scene they identified with. One girl put hers by the cow. I assumed it was a joke but when I asked her why she said, “I know Jesus but I’m not really doing anything with him. I’m there but not sure why.” Another girl put hers by one of the wise men, “I’m basically a follower, I go along with everyone, but I think I need to be wiser and start thinking for myself.” Wow.
May I encourage you this Christmas to not lose the wonder of the story of the birth of Jesus. Look at it from a different point of view. What was Joseph thinking? How did the shepherds go back to normal sheep herding after that night? Encourage yourself, and the kids you’re sharing with, to see the story through new eyes. Let the wonder and the beauty impact you anew this Christmas.
~ Eric Oleson