Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Untold Tales of the Nativity

- a post by Jeanna Mason Stay

This Christmas season I’ve been thinking about the stories of the Nativity—the shepherds, the wise men, the baby in the manger of course. But I’ve also been thinking about the Nativity stories we don’t know.*

We know about the shepherds who “came with haste” to the Christ child, for example, and we know that they “made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child” (Luke 2:16, 17). But what about the people the shepherds told? All we know about them is that they “wondered.” Did they then go seek Him?

We know about Simeon and Anna’s poignant reactions to meeting the baby at the temple. These were people who immediately recognized Jesus for who He was. But perhaps there were others, maybe someone who overheard Simeon’s rejoicing: “For mine eyes have seen thy salvation. . . . A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel” (vv. 30, 32). Maybe they were brought to see the light too, and their lives were changed.

We know about the wise men who came to see Christ at some point in the next two years, bringing Him gifts. But what about the wives waiting at home, sending their love and faith but never seeing the child themselves? Or perhaps their families did come with them, but their stories are left untold.

I am so grateful for the stories that we do have, and doubtless more stories would provide us more riches of wisdom and truth. But the story most relevant to us is the journey we take ourselves.

Let’s be honest: Most of us will be forgotten to history. My name is never going to appear in a book of scripture. Hey, forget my name—I’m not even going to appear as “the woman at the store” or “the obsessive copyeditor.” Aiming for a lowlier goal, I’m unlikely to ever write a NYT bestselling novel or invent any new punctuation.** In general it can sometimes feel like we’re really not doing anything that will be remembered at all.***

Maybe we’re not. Our stories may remain largely untold, except to those who know us.

If our journeys bring us to Christ, though, it doesn’t really matter if the stories are forgotten to the world. They are remembered to God.

Merry Christmas!

* In writing this, I realize that this may be some of what The Forgotten Carols is about. But aside from hearing “Let Him In” (which I love), I don’t really know anything else about the show. So if this is all old hat to you because of The Forgotten Carols, just know the thought was new to me at least. :)
** Although new punctuation would be sweet!
*** Especially when you compare yourself to every other person on the internet.


  1. Merry Christmas. The stories that we do have provide hope for tomorrow. Happy New Year.



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