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Preparing For Christmas

One of the ways I like to prepare for Christmas each year is to read the Christmas story from

Scripture. (I use the version found on the USCCB website: Books of the Bible | USCCB) .

As you may know, Luke’s Gospel holds the story from Mary’s experience, and Matthew’s Gospel holds the story from Joseph’s experience. Both Gospels must be read to get the complete story. We start the story in Luke, chapter 2 (LK 2: 1-20) with the “Birth of Jesus” and the “Visit of the Shepherds”. We meet Joseph, Mary, and Jesus, and we realize they are in a stable, as Jesus is lying in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn. (Spoiler alert: look in the scripture story, the innkeeper is never mentioned. Really!) The story moves on with the Shepherds out in the field just doing their job when an angel of the Lord appears to them. Their response is wonderful. See for yourself what their response was. How do you think you might respond?

To continue the story, we must turn to Mathew’s Gospel, chapter 2 (MT 2: 1-12) to find the

“Visit of the Magi”. Here we meet King Herod and the magi from the east. (Sorry, I have another spoiler alert: did you know there is no mention of “3”. Then again, there are three gifts.)

I read the story over and over until I can ‘see’ it in my mind’s eye. If this were a play, who

would I be? Joseph, Mary, Jesus, Shepard, Innkeeper, Herod, Magi? A person looking on from the street?

As you take time to prepare for the coming of Jesus this last week before Christmas, have

some fun with your family, read the story together and ask yourselves—who would you be in the story and why?

- Valerie Winston Healy


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