Dec. 2, 2012
She gave birth to her firstborn son, wrapped him snugly, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the guestroom. – Luke 2:7
Today, Advent 2012 begins. It’s a time to prepare for the coming of the Christ child, whose birthday we will celebrate in just four weeks. It’s the “coming” of this special baby we prepare for. Although we have heard this story many, many times, we tell it again this Advent and Christmas because it is a story that changed the world.
A common theme we also hear at this time of the year is how frustrated people are that the word “Christmas” can’t always be said. Shopping malls promote holiday shopping. Schools no longer have Christmas programs; they have winter celebrations. It’s not a Christmas tree at the state capital but a holiday tree.
We’ve seen the e-mails encouraging us to not be afraid to say, “Merry Christmas.” And I agree. But let’s be real. Do we really want Wal-Mart, Target and the Boston Store telling the Christmas story? Is it government’s responsibility to make sure the story is told correctly?
The Christmas story is one of the most common stories of all time. Whether a person went to church as a child or not, most children have heard a version of the story we hold dear. The Christmas story is the church’s story to tell. If we consider ourselves Christians, then it’s our story to tell. It’s our story to repeat over and over. It’s our story to loudly proclaim.
Rather than getting frustrated by those who aren’t sure whether they should tell the story, let’s reclaim our story this Advent. Let’s make sure and invite someone to hear the stories of Advent and Christmas Eve. May we be encouraged to remember this story and help others see how this story changes us and the world.
Lord God, we thank you for this special time of year to remember the stories leading up to the birth of your special Son. Encourage us to be the tellers of this story, to share with those around us how this story changes our lives. Amen.