During this season we read the stories of Christ birth: Mary’s song, Joseph yielding, a trip to Bethlehem, a simple birth, and Wise Kings following a mysterious star. They are the Christmas stories.
There never has been another story such as that of Jesus. Never was a story so tender, so beautiful, so strong, or so pathetic, but if it is just a story it would have lost its power long ago. Men do not remake their lives, nations are not reborn, societies influenced with new thoughts, and new conceptions by a story.
The world has not been transformed by the telling of the story of His birth, any more than it is transformed by the telling of his death, and ascensions. What has transformed the world is the living presence of Christ in every successive century. What Jesus began to do two thousand years ago he has never ceased doing, and thus the world has been transformed.
This church is not gathered around the memory of a majestically beautiful story. We are here because the same living Christ is here, doing among us what he did of old; making us holy.
The Presence of Christ,