Each Christmas Eve, my family gathers around the tree and manger as my husband reads the Nativity Story from Luke’s gospel. Then we process through the house, carrying the baby Jesus, and knock on our closed bedroom doors that symbolize the times we have closed our hearts to the Lord. As we process, we sing Silent Night until, at last, we end up in front of the crèche and place the tiny baby in the manger. There we join hands, offer thanks for the past year and pray for God’s blessings in the year ahead.
That tradition is part of our family story, part of who we are and how we embrace Christ’s birth each year. I know all of you have traditions that are part of your family story as well.
Just as with scripture, our own stories are important. Our successes and failures, our struggles and joys reveal God’s mercy and love. In sharing our stories we better understand how the past shapes the present and gives meaning to the future, and that understanding draws us closer together as brothers and sisters in Christ.
This year, I encourage you to pick a person, perhaps someone you’d like to know better, meet for coffee and swap stories. I’m sure you’ll be richly blessed because of your sharing.
I hope you'll also share your Christmas stories with us today.
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and all God's blessings in the New Year,