We're all intrigued with a good story, but as in many stories, they have a shelf life of only a generation or two if lucky. The old nursery rhymes and children’s stories seem not to last forever or they're replaced by a more modern or twisted version. Even within movies that tell a story they have to have a continued sequel to keep the story alive or it will find a short existence and fade as a distant memory, as with the authors that produce them.
But there are only two stories that are the exception, and both are told throughout every nation on earth, and the story has never changed since its beginning. It would seem that the world stops and takes pause just to listen and reflect when the stories of Christmas and Easter come to all of us once every year. Yet it seems the world never grows tired of these stories that touch the heart, soul and minds of many. Times now as in times past, have tried to discredit and void the character and author, which the two are the same. But this was even done while the story was live and unfolding, there were people and forces that fought willingly against its divine purpose. This is present and so evident in today’s culture. We have a society and culture that's at a tug of war of sorts, one wishes to completely do away with the Christ, and remove the un-removable image of God (Imago Dei) from us and the culture around us. While the other wishes His presence was more evident in the individual’s heart and the world in which we live. But this has always been the struggle, it’s just more evident within the uniqueness of America, which had been founded and built on a frame work which reflected a supreme being to which we pledged our allegiance to.
The world seems as though it has grown tired and weary of the powerful and the intellectual trying to resolve the never ending conflicts within us and humanity. World governments come and go, and we seem no further ahead, even with all the so called advancements and knowledge many benefit from. Yet many try to seek the peace and love the stories tell us and Christ came to give us, as in the Christmas story, and gave Himself for us, as in the Easter story. All within the book of Luke. The world is not only attracted towards a redeemer to set the world right, but many of us so much want to set our own lives right. But this attraction, is looking towards human efforts and not God's. We all experience the heartaches of a broken world, even within all the pleasures we all may enjoy; but it doesn't last, so we try to drown ourselves with more, only to find a unending emptiness.
Christ came humbly into this world to set us free from this entanglement we find ourselves in and within the relationships we share with each other. May we all find the truest meaning of Christmas and personally find our place within His story, which is the Greatest Story we could ever know.
Keep thinking and Merry Christmas,
Deni Shepard — Franklin, N.C.