Saturday, December 25, 2010

Tell Me The Story Of Jesus...

This fall, I've had the remarkable privilege of hanging out with a great bunch of kids every Sunday morning. The teach me every week - and every so often, I get to teach too!!

This December, I had the privilege of sharing the christmas story with them. It's a story they've heard over and over, and after sharing the story we had a "birthday party for Baby Jesus," complete with party games, music and snacks. WHAT FUN!

I remember when this story first began to change my heart. I was 18 1/2. It was January 2, 1998. I was moving through life, not with the greatest of ease. In fact, life felt very very complicated. It was on this particular morning that I was driving to work in a nearby community. I was running late (some things never change!!) and in attempt to make up for lost time,  I decided to take a "short cut" through the country. I misjudged a snow pile on the road and ended up very very very stuck. Like all-4-wheels-are-off-the-ground, I'm-not-getting-out-of-this-by-myself, gotta-go-get-dad STUCK!

Sigh. So much for making up for lost time!!

As I sat behind the steering wheel (SERIOUSLY NOT AT ALL DRESSED FOR THE -30 TEMPS EITHER!!), I remember "praying." Venting. Demanding. Hoping that God would get me out of this scrape. I didn't want the inconvenience. Not at all pretty!! And for the first time ever, I experienced the silence of heaven. This is less about not getting the "prayer answer" I was hoping for, and more about the fact that I was using communication with God as a means to an end (an easy life) rather than a means to a relationship. And He was not about to be manipulated.

If you've ever had an argument with someone, and did all of the yelling, screaming, swearing :), venting, complaining, pouting, demanding, manipulating --- and then that person was completely silent in return --- you'll have an idea of how this felt. Completely unnerving. I did not have the capacity to process the beginning of this awareness at this time, nor did I have any idea what changes had begun in my heart. I just knew that something had happened and a change had begun. Grace was a glimmer on the horizon and that would begin to alter the course of my life forever.

As I was preparing my Sunday School lesson at the beginning of December, the words from this hymn kept running through my mind...

Tell me the story of Jesus,
Write on my heart every word.
Tell me the story most precious,
Sweetest that ever was heard.
Tell how the angels in chorus,
Sang as they welcomed His birth.
“Glory to God in the highest!
Peace and good tidings to earth.”
Tell me the story of Jesus,
Write on my heart every word.
Tell me the story most precious,
Sweetest that ever was heard.

The story of extravagant grace. 
Of limitless love. 
Of truth and justice and a God who loves us enough to say what needs to be said ...
... or let silence speak for itself.

As I finish this post, the kids are now awake and zooming around the house! Wee one is getting a ride in a walker, Sweet K is rubbing the sleepies out of her eyes and Little M is keeping us all entertained! We're getting ready to celebrate christmas as a family, opening gifts, eating snacks and in our own way, having a "baby Jesus birthday party." The snow is falling outside and I've already received the gift of quiet, uninterrupted time to "just be" this morning before anyone else was up (a very RARE treat!!). 

It is good.

Today, as you move about your own festivities, may you too be singing the words, "tell me the story of Jesus...."

Merry Christmas!

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