Merry Christmas! Now, if there’s one story that every good Christian knows, it’s the Christmas Story. (No, not the one with Ralphie and the BB gun. The other one with Jesus and the manger.) We all have pretty set ideas in our minds of what that story looks like, and it frequently involves images we’ve had stuck in there since childhood. You know the ones: the baby Jesus center stage, sleeping peacefully in the perfectly manicured manger, while Mary sits behind him, looking on dutifully with Joseph at her side. The wise men are kneeling in ladder sequence before the infant, while the shepherds are sitting docilely off to the side.
However, if you find the traditional images to be not particularly relevant to the contemporary world, difficult to relate to, then by all means recast your Christmas story!
Busted Halo’s Jake Martin, SJ, has some suggestions for doing just that. Share his article with young adults and have a conversation about the images from the nativity (traditional and contemporary) that are most meaningful to them:
- What characters of the Christmas Story can you relate to? Who do you identify with?
- What contemporary characters from the news/culture or even your own life remind you of the characters in the story of Jesus’ birth?
- What situation or circumstances in today’s world are exemplified in the Christmas Story? What might we learn from the connections to Christ’s coming into the world?