Monday, December 14, 2015

A Fresh View of an Old Story: What is in your nativity?

I found them in a stable
Kings and shepherds gathered round
It seemed there was no room 
For the likes of me there to be found

I could not understand it
But I had to see the child
When the mother bade me to come near
I swear I saw him smile

Then I heard what sounded like 
A thousand chains breaking apart
And a door now swinging open
Letting light enter my heart (The Innkeeper L.Gallant)

It’s not hard for Christmas rhythms and rituals to become detached from their significance and meaning. Routine and repetition of the well-known Bethlehem narrative can dull the event down to a cozy, warm story that is more of a hot chocolate memory than the transformational-for-all- time event heralded by a sky full of God’s finest.

I`ve always appreciated songwriters who, like Lennie Gallant above who has the innkeeper recount how the story changed him, move us away from ritual and unrealistic ideas of Christ`s birth toward deeper reflection of what Immanuel – God with us was like for the inhabitants of the chaotic city of Bethlehem, with all of the rough edges included. The innkeeper’s realization above that Christ’s birth was for him too helps us to see God knew of our need of a Saviour that night in Bethlehem so long ago.

Our students will also tell the story of our Saviour`s birth at the Christmas Program on Wednesday.
It will challenge us to see it without the layers we add to it by custom or ritual, but rather for the real
story of love and grace that God`s only son given to us really is.

May God grant our community peace, love, and lasting joy as we recount the best story ever told.


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