by Tina Bare
“In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.” How many of you know what comes next? If you’ve grown up in the church, it’s likely that you’ve heard this story from Luke 2 many times! But have you stopped and considered this wonderful story from a different perspective? I thought about what the shepherds, those men that were not highly esteemed, experienced that night…
(The following perspective is a fictional depiction of the shepherds based on the Biblical account.)
“We tend to our flocks each day and night. Every day it’s the same, nothing crazy, nothing new. Until last night. It was my turn to stay awake to make sure our sheep were safe. I was nodding in and out, and all of a sudden, the sky lit up! The darkness that had settled was replaced with a glow so bright I almost couldn’t look toward it. I turned to wake the others, but they were already up. Who wouldn’t be awakened by that force of light?
I looked up to the sky to see an angelic figure. What was going on? I was convinced it was a dream. Not only was I looking at this figure that I could only assume was an angel, but then it started talking to us! The angel immediately told us not to be afraid. Are you serious?? We were terrified! Before I had time to argue, the angel said that there was good news – that a Savior had been born to us – the Lord of all! The long awaited King! And he was just over the hill in Bethlehem. Before we even had time to process that, the sky was full of angels, and they were singing! They sang praises to our God, and just like that, they were gone.
Suddenly the darkness of night covered our field again. We looked around at each other, and there wasn’t a single hesitation about if we should go or not. We had to go! We had to see if this was true, because if it was, how immensely that would change our lives!
We immediately left and traveled to Bethlehem, and sure enough, we found the baby, our Savior, wrapped in cloth and lying in a manger. And oh how we were overjoyed! What an incredible gift – one we could never have imagined! We told Mary and Joseph of all that we’d experienced that night and how it led us to them. Yet we soon had to leave and tell everyone we knew! The Savior is here! Glory to God! We felt so honored and humbled by the God of the universe sending angels to tell us, as the shepherds. We aren’t necessarily highly respected in society, so what a precious moment this was, to be told of this great news.”
How fun it is to consider the Christmas story from different perspectives! And as we think about it, truly every story is like this. Even those we tell within our families are the same. Have you ever had just a slight disagreement on what really happened between you and your siblings? Each of us will connect with the Christmas story from a different perspective. The parts of the story that shape our heart may be different, but no matter which way we hear the story, it’s still the greatest story of all time.
As you think about storytelling, consider what makes stories memorable. Stories pass down knowledge, information, and wisdom. Without stories, we would not be able to learn from the triumphs nor the mistakes of others. Stories also help us remember things. When information is shared in the form of a story, people tend to remember 65-70% of what they heard. If there was no story involved, they remember only 5-10% (Klongerbo). Why? Because we relate to them and we remember how they made us feel.
Here at Bare, we believe in the significance of each of our stories. This year, we focused on the Year of Story and have tried to help you capture your story so that it can be told to the next generation. You’ve reflected on your understanding of your values, your work, generosity, contentment, and money through resources like the Beyond Abundance booklet.
As we reflect on these pieces of our own life, we’re better able to tell our own stories. The same is true as we seek to share the truth and the hope of the greatest story ever told, story of Jesus. As we take intentional time with the Lord to consider all of what it meant when he came to earth as a baby boy, we are reminded of the hope and grace offered to us so freely and graciously! This Christmas, we invite you to consider a few questions with us.
- Which aspect of the Christmas story is most compelling to you? What moves and shapes your heart as you listen?
- How has the Christmas story impacted your story?
- Who can you share the Christmas story with this year?
We pray that you find strength and hope in remembering Christ’s love and sacrifice toward us. Merry Christmas!
Follow us on social media to read stories of encouragement from staff and clients this Christmas season!
Klongerbo, Sarah. “What Does Storytelling in Marketing Mean? (Examples, Statistics & Tips).” Sarah Klongerbo, 17 May 2023, sarahklongerbo.com/blog/storytelling-in-marketing/#:~:text=Facts%20are%2022%20times%20more,remember%2065%25%20to%2070%25.