Our public library has a little book called The Christmas Story by G.A. Myers. I actually started reading it last year, prior to Christmas, but I don't think I finished it. I guess it was because I let the busyness of the holiday season get in my way. And this book was written to avoid that exact situation!
Of course I have an Advent devotional schedule for the kids, and we are reading some great Christmas stories like A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson. But I felt like I needed something for me, something to quiet my spirit and remind me of the true meaning of Christmas. It's hard to find that quiet when there is such a buzz of excitement surrounding me all day long.
While at the library I searched and searched for the book. I couldn't remember the title, but I knew it was in the Christmas section. I had seen it a few months before. And there it was, calling to me.
The book is set up in seven short chapters containing a fictional account of the scripture, the full text of the scripture, a poem, a devotional, and a quote of inspiration. The chapters are:
- The Announcement to Mary
- Joseph's Dilemma
- Mary's Song
- The Journey to Bethlehem
- The Birth
- God's Message for the Shepherds
- The Angels' Good News
Lest you think God's Word of thousands of years ago doesn't directly apply to your life today, let me summarize Chapter 1 for you …
Chapter 1: The Announcement to Mary
The poem by William Butler Yeats says "Had I not found content among the shows Every common woman knows, Chimney corner, garden walk, Or rocky cistern where we tread the clothes And gather all the talk?"
Mary was living the life of a common woman of the time. She was satisfied. She was content. She was doing what a women should be doing. She was getting ready to get married and settle into the role of being Joseph's wife. And then 'wham!' There was Gabriel with the news that she would be the mother of the Son of God.
"Do you feel you're just an ordinary person with an average life in a commonplace world? Good. You're just what God is looking for … He trusts you to fulfill His mission." ~ page 13.
"God is the God of human history, and He is at work continuously, mysteriously, accomplishing His eternal purposes in us, through us, for us, and in spite of us." ~ Elisabeth Elliot
I am still reading this book and am about halfway through, but I have learned (again) how I should not fear as God is always near, and that I am blessed with my children.
As usual the book has touched on areas of my life where I need God's reassurance and gentle reminders. He has also confirmed these Truths in other ways, through songs, situations, others, and even in blog posts I have read.
I highly recommend this treasure of a book if you are needing some peace and calm this holiday season. Allow God to speak to you through the birth of His son, Jesus.
You can see what other Schoolhouse Review Crew members' favorite books are by going to the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog. The post will go live on December 18th.