We all connect through story. When you hear the word story, you may think of your own journey or life. You may think about your favorite movie, book, or screenplay. You may think of a story you have helped create in one way or another. When I was a kid, my favorite Disney movie was Peter Pan—the story of a boy who never wanted to grow up. Yes, I had a sword dagger and ran around the house pretending to be him. Yes, I wondered what it would be like to fly. Yes, I had the action figure. When my family and I went to Disney, I had to find Peter Pan and meet him. This story resonated with me, and I wore the VHS out. Even if you are in a room filled with non-creatives, it’s incredible how story brings us together.
As believers, we are connected through the story. What is the story? The story of Jesus Christ and how He rescues and redeems that which was once lost. An incredible progression of verses is found in the first chapter of John’s Gospel.
John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
John 1:9, “The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.”
John 1:14, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
So, what separates the Gospel from any other story in history?
The Storyteller entered the story to save His people. Luke 2:30-32 reads, “For my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.” Simeon looked at the Messiah as a baby and identified Jesus as salvation. Here we see the Storyteller in flesh and blood right before our very eyes—what a moment. Jesus would later say, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to Father accept through Me.” (John 14:6)
Through the lens of the Gospel, all other stories find meaning. Acts 17:28 reminds us, “For “‘In him we live and move and have our being;’ as even some of your own poets have said, “‘For we are indeed his offspring.’” In Acts 17, Paul is ministering in Athens and is deeply troubled by the entire city’s worship of false gods. He seeks to share the Truth by actually quoting pagan Greek writers that would resonate with his audience. Paul’s point: Our stories have meaning and purpose because He is purpose and meaning.
The Gospel is the only story that matters for all eternity. 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 says, “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.” Notice Paul’s words “of first importance.” What is the main thing Paul wants believers to understand? Christ died. He was buried. He was raised. All in accordance with the Scriptures. When we realize one story matters for all of eternity—that is the story our lives should reflect and tell.
C.S. Lewis once said, “The central miracle asserted by Christians is the Incarnation. They say that God became Man. Every other miracle prepares for this, or exhibits this, or results from this.” This Christmas season, I pray you would reflect upon the life-giving miracle that is Jesus Christ. Rest in His presence and peace as you celebrate with family and friends. Merry Christmas.
Luke 2:7, “And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.”