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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Graber

'Twas the night before Christmas

...and Mary and Joseph were trying to find a place to stay, but there was no room at the Inn. Wait...that's not how the stories go.


Christ is the reason for the season, but with so many narratives circulating, it's hard for people unfamiliar with Christ to know what to believe. Commercials, televisions shows, and movies have confabulated multiple narratives for consumers of Christmas. Fortunately, the Bible is a constant and abiding source for readers to access the story of Jesus. Of all the stories produced over the last 200 years, this one has inspired faith for more than 2000 years.


An Angel of the Lord spoke to Mary, saying, You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. --Luke 1:31 NIV

Then, Jesus is born. A savior. The overcomer of all sins.


I love stories. I teach English because I love to read and write, and here I am writing this blog about the greatest story ever told: the story of Jesus’ birth. One of the things my students struggle to parse from sources are the clues that separate fact from fiction or reliability from conjecture. Similarly, being inundated with so many commercial perspectives on Christmas stories tends to blur the real reason for the season. Coming back to this story every year reminds me of the importance of pausing to celebrate Jesus’ birthday.


A couple of weeks ago on a Friday night, Julie and I hosted a Women's Night Out themed Christmas Around the World. We talked about the traditions celebrated over history and place--including a rousing folk narrative about the beginnings of Christmas trees--followed, of course, by more accurate depictions of the earliest recorded beginnings of such traditions as trimming the tree. Then, the women who attended went around and shared some of their holiday traditions.


One tradition I have always enjoyed has been the reading of the Christmas story, Luke 2. As Julie and I were planning the event, we agreed this story should be a central theme and asked Marilyn to read the story during our women's night. As she read, I started thinking about how of all of the stories I listen to during Christmas, the story of Jesus' birth is my favorite. Unlike Julie, I don’t like to read the end of the story first, but I’m relieved to know the end of this one. Despite Jesus’ pain and suffering, it’s a happy ending: I get saved. Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection washes my sign away. Yet, as I celebrate the season of Jesus’ birth, I am reminded of the purity and endless bounds of God’s love. To me, that’s the greatest gift of all.


However, not everyone knows the reason for the season or has a connection with Christ--the root of Christmas. As we (Unfinished Women) continue to pursue our mission of sharing love and fellowship with other through our stories and outreach, we ask that you reflect on what this season means to you. How is Jesus celebrated in your house? Maybe, share something about the season you are grateful for or tell us about a Christmas tradition you enjoy doing to celebrate the birth of Jesus. `

Are you looking for a way to share God's message about the Christmas story? Julie and I invite you to share our blog. Also, here's a reading of the Christmas story on Spotify. Finally, you can read or hear a reading of the Christmas Story on the YouVersion Bible app or website.


Wishing you a merry Christmas season!


Best,

Michelle


P.S. Despite the bad weather, the ladies who made it had a wonderful time celebrating the reason for the season! Check out our event page with a little video compilation of our event!


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