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Stories of Christmas

Come to Bethlehem: Short Stories of Christmas

Venite, adoremus Dominum. Translated into English, the invitation remains open to all: O come, let us adore Him. Thus begins the exceptional and beloved Christmas carol, Adeste Fideles (“O Come, All You Faithful”). Known as the “international carol,” it was written in Latin by an Englishman, John Francis Wade, who was living in Douai, France, translated into English by Frederick Oakeley (1802-1880), and propagated by the Portuguese through the Chapel of the Portuguese Embassy in London.

Written over 270 years ago, Wade invited the faithful to “come ye to Bethlehem, come and behold Him, born the King of angels.” The author of the third Gospel, Luke, recorded that after the angelic host appeared to the shepherds, they said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us” (Lk. 2:15). Following in the footsteps of the shepherds will always lead us to see that “the Child that played with the moon and sun, is playing with a little hay” (G.K. Chesterton).

According to the prophet Micah, “the ruler of Israel” would come forth from Bethlehem Ephrathah (Micah 5:2). And theologian Carl H.F. Henry (1913-2003) reminds us that “the claim of the Christian religion has been that Israel’s long-expected Messiah came historically in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, that he is the unique means by whom human beings experience God savingly, and that Jesus Christ has universal divine authority.”

Every year, the invitation to return to Bethlehem to worship the newborn King still stands. The Christmas essays presented here have been prepared to direct your minds and hearts to the One who came to redeem us from our sins. As you linger in quiet moments and favorite places, may you come to know Him more intimately as the incarnate Son of God who loves you and gave Himself for you (Gal. 2:20).


Silent Night Christmas Carol

Silent Night

...He sang it to his wife. Her response was prophetic: “We will die - you and I - but this song will live.”
Read Silent Night

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Adoration of the Maji by Giotto

Giotto

Giotto’s Adoration of the Magi provides a visual commentary on what Jesus meant when He taught His disciples to pray, Hallowed be Thy name.
Read Giotto

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Seabiscuit and Bethlehem

Seabiscuit & Bethlehem

The message of Bethlehem is one of triumph and victory. God Incarnate comes above thy deep and dreamless sleep as the silent stars go by.
Read Seabiscuit & Bethlehem

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Herod's Search for Jesus

Making Herod’s Search My Own

Why does it take so little to so easily satisfy the minds and hearts of the masses in our culture?
Read Making Herod’s Search My Own

Download a PDF of this essay.


Charles Dickens' Christmas Carol

A Dickens of an Alteration

What can we learn from Dickens’ classic Christmas story about personal alteration or transformation?
Read A Dickens of an Alteration

Download a PDF of this essay.


The Christmas Message

The Christmas Message

The Gospel, in the words of leading scholars and writers, woven together that you might come and behold Him, born the King of angels.
Read The Christmas Message

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The Christmas Message

The Porpoise of Christmas

Lewis Carroll apparently understood what masses of people fail to grasp today - that purposeful living is possible and preferable to the seduction of an aimless existence.
Read The Porpoise of Christmas

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Christmas Time

A Small Parenthesis in Time

The time is flying... so read on before the sand in the hourglass beckons you to move on to the next thing before Christmas, for time will not take care of it.
Read A Small Parenthesis in Time

Download a PDF of this essay.


Phillips Brooks

The Life of Phillips Brooks, Author of O Little Town of Bethlehem - PDF

The fascinating story behind the man and the composition of a beloved Christmas carol.
View The Life of Phillips Brooks


The Gifts of the Magi

The Gifts of the Magi - PDF

Gold was intended for the child as being the King, Frankincense for him as being God, Myrrh for him as destined to die.
View The Gifts of the Magi


Prince of Peace

Prince of Peace - Audio & PDF

What hope might we offer to those who have neither peace nor joy as Christmas approaches?
Listen/Download Prince of Peace Audio
View/Download Prince of Peace PDF