For many of us Christmas is a favorite time of year. Sometime mid-November I start looking forward to reading all the new Christmas releases. I hurry to the library website to reserve my favorite authors. Yes, I still use the public library and prefer to hold “real” books in my hand when I read. Just call me old fashioned.
But I don’t stick with just new books; I love to go back and reread some of my favorites, The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry and The Story of the Other Wise Man by Henry van Dyke. It’s the same with movies. Christmas just isn’t Christmas without the Miracle on 34th Street and It’s a Wonderful Life. Of course, we should remember that most of these movies started out as books.
This year my list of favorites includes Lee Warren’s new book, Mercy Inn and Cynthia Ruchti’s An Endless Christmas. By far, my favorite Christmas story of all time comes from Luke 2:1-16, forever immortalized by Charles Schulz in “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”
In just a few days many of us will gather around fireplaces, dinner tables and Christmas trees and once again read these cherished words,
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; you shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
There it is in a nutshell, my favorite Christmas story, a Christmas classic passed down through the decades. One I never grow tired of reading.
I find it interesting that God would use an animated television program in 1965 to spread the Word of the birth of His Son centuries before. That’s exactly how God works. I can’t help but think of the millions of people around the world who have heard these words because of Charles Schulz and Charlie Brown.
And let me remind you that He will do the very same thing with the books and stories you write.
“So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11
So as you gather your loved ones around you this Christmas season, take time to pull out the greatest Book of all and read the best story ever.
Linus said it best, “That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”
Have a blessed Christmas season.
You can purchase copies of Lee Warren’s Mercy Inn or Cynthia Ruchti’s An Endless Christmas at www.amazon.com.