Matthew 1-2, Luke 1-2
Tim Lucas encourages us to allow God to open the Christmas story up to us in a new and refreshing way.
Here we are, just after Christmas and already it can feel like a distant memory.
With New Year only one week after, and the tradition of removing the Christmas decorations by the twelfth night, it seems that the whole affair that we get so caught up over suddenly ends. The rooms look bare, the cold nights seem colder and darker, and the snow feels less welcome (though perhaps more likely).
While that is all, in its own way, a good practice, we have often been very good at throwing out the baby with the bathwater.
In removing the decorations, in stopping singing the Christmas songs and carols, in wrapping up the stollen and recorking the mulled wine, in folding up the Santa outfits, in taking the tree out of the room, we have also become very adept at closing the Bible on this particular chapter of Jesus' life and ministry, waiting almost a whole year until we think of looking at it again.
It is my belief that there is a great deal of good to be found in the Nativity story, and we would do well to read it often throughout the year.
We feel very comfortable in talking about the events of Holy Week, Easter, Pentecost, and others throughout the year, and even may feel uncomfortable if they are not referred to or mentioned, but somehow we have grown to think that to talk about the birth of Jesus at any time other than Advent or Christmas is out of place. I think this is a misguided notion.
The Nativity story is a story about God coming to earth; it is a story about peace being declared by the ambassadors of heaven; it is a story about the near and far finding their way to God to worship Him; it is a story about a young expectant mother having to prove herself to her fiancé, and yet finding some companionship in her cousin; it is a story that provides us with a challenge to think about whether we have made room enough to welcome God; it is a story that encourages us to not be closed-minded when thinking about how God appears to us; it is a story that confronts the parts of us that would rather kill God off than have Him usurp our selfish, inward-looking, self-serving selves; it is a story that glories in humility and worship. Those elements and more can find a place throughout the year, and it is a great shame that we only consider them once a year at a particular time.
My encouragement to you is to open the scriptures again at the Nativity story, and to think about what God might be saying to you through it.
There is so much wrapped into the story that a cursory glance will not do. Take the time to thoroughly reflect and pray about what is contained in the story. And perhaps most importantly, do it throughout the year and not just through December.
Who knows but that the very act of reading it at a time that you don't usually might well open it up to you in a new and refreshing way.The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.
Church Liaison Officer
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