With Christmas just days away, the pressure mounts. Today’s society dictates our home decor as well as our activities - trees, wreaths, Christmas cards, numerous gatherings of friends, family, coworkers, church members.
Most of it has nothing to do with the truth of Christmas.
Biblically, the birth of Christ is barely given notice. Only two of the Gospel writers mention it. And in each of their two chapters, they record completely different things. Compare that with Jesus’ death and resurrection, addressed by all four Gospel writers, spanning 31 chapters, more than a third of the Gospel writings. The records show the place, day and hour of Jesus’ death, but the date and place of His birth are unknown.
If we take the Bible as our guide on spiritual matters, clearly in today’s culture, we give undo attention to Jesus’ supremely humble birth.
With the holiday hurricane of activity in schools, marketplaces, and media, it takes vigilance to “choose what is better” as Jesus instructed Martha, and us too! (Luke 10:42)
When my children were in grade school, I wrote a poem out of my desire for them to have a fuller picture of what Christmas is really about – the whole life of Jesus and the reason He came to us. I wanted them to move beyond thinking of this as a sweet story about the “baby Jesus,” but know it as a part of Scripture. I wanted them to know that every bit of The Word is as significant as the rest, bringing essential life messages. I wanted my children to understand, most importantly, that
God is real and speaks to us and to children today. <<Click to Tweet
Fast forward twenty years, and the poem I wrote to my children is now a book, Mary Had A Little Lamb.
The story begins not in a manger, but in heaven, for Jesus existed before time began. From its opening stanza, through the stories of shepherds, angels, wise men, as well as Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, we get not just a fuller picture of the real “reason for the season” but important life lessons as well. And the conclusion teaches children that they too can be shepherds, wise men, and hear from God like Mary and Joseph did.
The book has turned out to be more than a way for Christian families to bring meaning to their celebrations. It has become an opportunity for them to gently share the Gospel. People are more receptive to the truths of Scripture when blanketed within the Christmas story.
Our challenge is to set aside the familiar and look with a fresh perspective on these biblical truths. This book is a tool that does just that. In addition to the Christmas story, the book contains a parent guide with talking points to engage children in a deeper understanding and some surprising “mythbusters” to separate Christmas fact from fiction. For more free resources to bring deeper meaning to your holiday, please visit the book’s webpage. To purchase the book, visit Amazon or these local bookstores: The Well Read Bookstore in Hawthorne, NJ, or Sisters Uptown Bookstore in Harlem, NYC.
Let’s talk! What are ways that you make your Christmas more significant for yourself and/or your family?
Susan Panzica is a Jewish Jersey girl who loves Jesus, her family, the ocean, and mangos. Her passion is to bring an eternal perspective to earthly matters through writing, speaking, teaching, and coffee dates. A quasi-emptynester who works with her chiropractor husband, she thoroughly enjoys when her college age children are home, with or without all their friends. Susan is a speaker, women and children’s Bible teacher, and writer of the devotional blog Eternity Café.