... Even the worst heartaches can become heartstrings to God's hope, comfort, encouragement, joy, peace and love...

Welcome! As a fan of the cartoon character Maxine, I enjoy her witty remarks. But when I
read my blogs & other writing to her, she's not very responsive- even when I'm wearing my bunny slippers like hers! She just doesn't get it!
Although she's funnier than I am, I do pray that this site will bring encouragement to your day! I'd love to hear from you! Unlike Maxine, you can leave me a message via the Comments. Shalom, Connie


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Nativity Traditions

Over the years there have many 1,000's of storybooks, pageants, musicals, school and Sunday School children's programs, poems, dramas, and films telling the Christmas story of the Nativity. These renditions have become the norm for many of us. Unless we go to scripture, it's easy to mix the stories with what scripture and history tells us.

For instance:
1. Who told Mary and Joseph to go to Bethlehem?
2. How do Joseph and Mary travel to Bethlehem?
3. What did the innkeeper tell them?
4. Where in Bethlehem was Jesus delivered?
5. Who helped with the delivery?
6. What animals were present?
7. How many angels spoke to the shepherds?
8. What did the angels sing?
9. How many wise men came to see Jesus?
10. Who were the wise men?
11. Where did the wise men find Jesus?
12. Is the story of Jesus birth recorded in all 4 gospels?
13. Who told Joseph and Mary to go to Egypt?

2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11- Scripture does not tells us.
1. Caesar Augustus
7. One; then an army of angels appeared
8. Scripture says they praised God, but doesn't state that it was in song.
10. Note: it is believed that the magi were astrologers.
12. Only in Matthew and Luke.
13. An angel in a dream to Joseph.

So where does a donkey, a stable full of animals, 3 kings and camels, etc. come from?
From our need to try to visualize this awesome event.
As a former children's choir director, I have presented about 10 Christmas musicals. Each one different, each one meant to help us understand how special Christ's birth was for each of us.
And I have sung or watched over 100 adult and children's Christmas dramas, programs, cantatas, pageants, and musicals. Each one has caused me to think anew what Christmas is all about.

My desire is that you, too, will see Christmas in a fresh, new way this year. Whether it's through little shepherds in bathrobes, spectacular kings riding in on real camels with a royal entourage, or a simple song like "Silent Night," open your heart to a heavenly touch.

The words of "Go, Tell It on the Mountain" take on new meaning as I look out my window at the snow-topped Cascade mountains. Three climbers recently perished there. Climbing real mountains is no easy feat; neither are the mountains and valleys within our lives.

No matter what the circumstances are in your life, I want to shout it from the mountain top that Christ was born so you could have Hope! Peace! and Joy! They are not found under a tree, or in a stocking, at a party, or even in a church- only in a manger when the Creator of the universe came to earth as a wee baby in a small, sleeping town.

Selah- think on these things...

Shalom, Connie

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