Through the centuries, artists have tried to figure out how to paint or sculpt that shimmer- ing moment when the angel came to Mary and asked her to let Jesus take on flesh in her. Almost always she has an open book – God’s Word, the Bible. The angel didn’t flit into her life in a vacuum. Mary was a student of God’s Word, and when asked to become the mother of God, she replied, Let it be to me according to your Word (Luke 1:26-38).
What does Jesus want for Christmas? He wants the blueprint of my life, the content of my calendar, to be the enactment of Let it be to me according to your Word. For me to let God’s Word be the main thing, I need to know what’s in there. I need God’s Word not to be something I read like a novel I stuck on the shelf when I was done. I need to know more than a verse or two. I need the living Word to be alive now. I need to study. I need to harbor the ambition of being a Bible scholar.
But how to begin? Maybe I begin when Jesus began, with the Christmas story. I could just procrastinate and hear it on Christmas Eve. But maybe I read right now. Luke’s story is a grand total of 4 pages, Matthew’s just a page and a half. Can I work that in?
We might please Jesus even more if we use our gadgets to download the story and listen while driving or on the stairmaster. The terrific recording of Luke’s narrative in The Bible Experience takes just 10 minutes.
St. Augustine was converted when he heard a voice tell him, Take up and read. Twenty six days until Christmas. For Jesus, I’ll take it up, and read.