Many who hear the words “The Christmas Story” mistakenly equate it to Ralphie and his infamous BB gun. I must admit, I love that silly story and have watched it many times. But it’s not what pops into my mind when I hear “The Christmas Story.”
The first time I remember hearing the actual Christmas story—the awe-inspiring account of the God of the Universe stooping down to join his creation on a sin-infested planet—I was eight or nine years old. True, I had no doubt heard bits and pieces of it before that, but I had never stopped to listen and absorb its stunning impact.
I had been chosen to play the part of Mary in our annual Christmas play at school. (Yes, that was public school; we could do that then.) I was excited about the part, even though I had no lines to memorize since all I had to do was sit demurely beside the manger, gazing down at the plastic doll representing the Baby Jesus. I can’t remember who played Joseph, or any of the other parts, for that matter. What I do remember was hearing the angel recite Luke 2, day after day, as we rehearsed. Those words made their way into my mind, though it would be almost two decades later before I made room for Christ in the inn of my heart.
I’ve read and heard and watched a lot of Christmas stories since then, but nothing to equal the amazing story found in the second chapter of Luke. How about you? Can you remember the first time you heard or read that passage of Scripture? Where were you? How did you feel about it? How did it impact you? And if you have other favorite Christmas stories—classic ones or newly written—what are they, and why did you so enjoy them?