Monday, November 27, 2017

Tricks for Reading the Christmas Story

Here comes the Christmas season! If  you are like me, you struggle to keep the right perspective during this season. There are so many distractions from the "true meaning of Christmas."

So, here's one idea for keeping your focus. Take time every day to dig into the Christmas story, reading and reflecting. You can just read a few verses and let God take over your imagination as you read. You can find the primary stories in Matthew 1-2 and Luke 1-2.

As you read consider these tricks for deeper understanding.
  • Read the story in an unfamiliar translation. You can find lots of them at
  • Imagine yourself in the context of the first century, as an ordinary person: poor, struggling, powerless.
  • Imagine how the story would feel to different people in the story: Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, the magi, Herod, Herod's court, Mary's family, Joseph's family, Simeon, Anna, etc.
  • Look for some of the familiar story elements and see if they are really in the stories. When did the shepherds see the star? (They didn't.) How many wise men were there? (We don't know.) What was the innkeeper like? (There is no mention of an innkeeper.)
  • Let different family members read different parts.
  • Read the story by the light of an oil lamp.
Let's keep our focus on Jesus this season!