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Christmas Short Stories
"Joseph's Letter Home," a letter written by Joseph to his mother from Bethlehem telling of Joseph taking Mary to be his wife. Home Life, December 1989; Purpose, December 29, 1991; Visjon (Norwegian) December 1996. Recorded by Derek West, Caleb's Mission, Whitney, Oxfordshire, UK, Oct 2001 (7:19, mp3). Included in The Greatest Christmas Stories of All Time (Standard, 2006, Everything Christmas (WaterBrook Press, 2010), and Jesus Is the Reason for the Season (Summerside Press, 2011). Basis of the video "From Joseph's Quill" (2004, 5 min.)
"God's Shepherd," a short story about one of the original Bethlehem shepherd boys who meets Jesus later in life.
"Shepherds, Angels, and a Manger," the story of the shepherds outside of Bethlehem and their angel visitation. The Joyful Heart, Dec 20, 1999.
"Old Zechariah's Promise," a short story of Zechariah's angelic visitation in the Temple, and the promise of a son — John the Baptist.
"Mary, Servant of the Lord: A Story of the Annunciation," a short story to help you imagine what the annunciation might have been like. For another story on the same topic, see "Virgin Mary, Handmaiden of the Lord" below. The Joyful Heart, Dec 4, 1996.
"Christmas Hardships," a story of the hardships faced by the Holy Family. The Workman Quarterly, Winter 1988.
"When Magi Camped in Bethlehem," the story of the Wise Men as told through the eyes of a neighbor woman. Horizons, Dec1995.
"The Cradle," a touching story about Joseph building a cradle for the baby-to-be and then understanding God's cradle, the manger. Purpose, December 21, 1986; Standard, December 14, 1986.
"The Virgin Mary, Handmaid of the Lord," a short story of the announcement of Jesus' birth to Mary.
From the GospelsExpositions in the JesusWalk Luke Bible Study series:
"Where's the Line to See Jesus," music video.
If you're in the area, join Pastor Ralph for a Christmas Eve Service in Nevada City, California, 6:30 pm, December 24, 2013.
"Fear Not! A Savior Is Born,", a meditation on fear, economic woes, and a Savior. The Joyful Heart, December 18, 2008.
"The Story of Silent Night, Stille Nacht," traces "Silent Night" from its author Fr. Joseph Mohr, its composer Franz Gruber, its first performance in Oberndorf, Austria, and the reasons for its popularity. The Joyful Heart, December 21, 2004.
"A Flesh-and-Blood Christmas Miracle," enumerates the various miracles that attended Jesus birth, and focuses on one especially, the miracle of the incarnation. The Joyful Heart, Dec 24, 2000. Broadcast Dec 2004 by Christian Indie Radio (mp3, 9:37).
Child of Promise: A Prayer for Christmas Morning, a meditation based on Isaiah 9:6-7. December 25, 1998.
"Burlap, Boys, and Christmas" Why boy shepherds in their burlap costumes communicate the Christmas story much better than girl angels in their white satin. The Joyful Heart, Dec 23, 1997.
"The Real St. Nick," looks back at the real St. Nick, Nicholas, Bishop of Myra. Evangel, Dec 4, 1988; Message of the Open Bible, Dec 1989.
"Travelers," a brief vignette about the wise men. Point: we too must travel on Christmas to draw near to Jesus. The Pentecostal Messenger, September 1989.
"The Extra Electric Train," a brief Christmas piece focusing on the greatest Gift of the season. Evangel, December 21, 1986.
"A Gift All Wrapped in Swaddling Clothes." Troublesome, obligatory gifts at Christmas, contrasted with the often-rejected Gift of the Christ-Child. Evangel, December 13, 1992; Vista Holiness Digest, December 20, 1992.
"Hark, the Herald Angels Sing: The Gospel in Charles Wesley's Christmas Carol." Here's a Bible study based on the Scriptural allusions and references in Wesley's wonderfully rich Christmas carol. The Joyful Heart, Dec 21, 2004."A Healthy Cry from the Manger," focuses on the reality of the incarnation, fully man and fully God. Message of the Open Bible, Dec 1992.
"Bum Deal at Christmas?" We complain about our lot, but we didn't face the hardships the Holy Family did.
"The Tyranny of Giving." Tired of the Christmas present-buying frenzy? Look again at the greatest Gift.
"They Call Him Immanuel," a glimpse at the theology of Jesus' title that means, "God with us."
"Emmanuel, God With Us," examines Emmanuel from Mary and Joseph's point of view.
Christmas Art & Painting
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