Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Greatest Story Ever Told, Chapter One

Merry Christmas, everyone. 
I haven't been around here much, and that's a bad thing. It goes against about every list of tips I've seen on how to build an audience and a readership. The job search has kept me busy. And Gina says I haven't been in the best of moods the last few months. I haven't noticed it, but I wouldn't really. She's the one who has to live with me every day. I felt like I've dealt with this whole situation well. And, really, she's not saying I've been insufferable, just down. I get that, and, if she says it, it's probably true.

But today is Christmas. A day for family.  A day for fun. A day for good times. It's a different Christmas for us. We don't have the usual budget for gifts, so we've spent not as much time thinking about the material aspect of the holiday and focusing more on the real reason that we celebrate. The reason for the season as the fans of rhyming like to say. Gina and I have volunteered at church during the Christmas services. We bought a few gifts for the giveaway that the church is doing for some underprivileged kids that live close by. And as tough as we feel we have it sometimes with my job situation, there are plenty of people far worse off than us.

So in the spirit of a more focused Christmas, I wanted to include here the classic Christmas story from Luke. Just a reminder that there's a reason for the season. And talk about flash fiction. Luke told the story of the birth of our savior in just over 400 words.

Luke 2 (New International Version)

The Birth of Jesus
 1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.  4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
 8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
   and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
 15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
 16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

I like reading that story, but I like hearing it better. And this is the best version anywhere.
Preach it, Linus.

Once again, Merry Christmas, everyone.

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