The Bible is one grand story filled with stories all meant to impact our life story. None of the stories is any more familiar to us than the one we have come to think of as the ‘Christmas story’. At this season of the year, I challenge each of us to revisit this story.
Step into it and seek to be led by the Author to experience it as if for the very first time. In the spring of this year during a read-through of the New Testament, I was granted the thrill of seeing, smelling, and hearing this Christmas story new and afresh. I noted in my journal, ‘We find God working in an unexpected way, in an unexpected place using and involving unexpected people. We find terror, speedy and immediate response, discovery, declaration, meditation, exaltation & extreme mystery. What a living, lively, dynamic, messy, wondrous working of our God in this story of the birthing of Jesus.’
Somewhere along the way I’m afraid many of us have embraced the idea that the Christian life is to become ever more neatly packaged, clean & tidy with no loose ends, everything fitting into nice predictable patterns. But let’s again step into the story of the first Christmas (& so many of the other stories from The Story) and see the reality that a life lived in relationship with our Maker and our fellow travelers is most often filled with the unexpected, unpredictable, with what is messy, mysterious, joy-filled and wondrous! As I noted in my journal that day in May, ‘Lord when I step into and feel along with this story, I experience and see that which is not unlike what I’m experiencing and seeing as I process what You seem to be up to in my life at this moment of time.’
I’m not sure what 2010 will hold but as we seek to join the Christ of CHRISTmas in the living out of our life stories, we must be open and ready to encounter the unexpected, unpredictable, messy, mysterious, joy-filled and wondrous!
Now let’s go ahead and open up our Bibles to Matthew 1:18-2:18; Luke 1:26-2:20.
By the Spirit of God, may we be captured new and afresh with the ‘Once upon a time’ of the CHRISTmas story!