This is a short read - less than an hour - but it tells a powerful story. You all know that I'm a Christmas nut. I watch the movies and listen to the music year round; I read every sweet, holiday story I can find; I dream of having a house that looks like this (alas I lack the money, style and creativity to accomplish that dream).
In the midst of all that, it is so easy to see the Nativity as one more decoration; one more sweet story. This re-telling reminds us that Mary was a frightened, shunned young girl who gave birth under horrendous conditions. It shows us Joseph's fear that he would not be a proper father for a King; that he would fail this incredible responsibility and gift.
The story of the manger scene is familiar to most of us...Mary and Joseph snuggled warmly together admiring the comfortable baby in his soft bed of hay, wise men and shepherds gathering to worship and giving gifts to the King in the warm, well-lit stable, and always that magnificent star above to show the way. Somewhere along the way the cave has been sanitized, the birth made painless and the people involved stripped of all fear or emotion. It seems to have colored in or forgotten much of what happened to make that journey possible...I wrote the Christmas Journey several years ago for a church banquet. I read it as a narrataive then, as a reminder, and still do today. I hope you will do the same...so you won't forget." - Donna VanLiereSince it could easily become a Christmas favorite that gets re-read each year, it helps justify the $12.95 price for such a quick read. If you can get it at your local library, even better.