Preachers wrestle with how to start a sermon.
Should they start with a witty one-liner? An amusing anecdote? A topical illustration?
Or just plunge straight in with exposition?
Have you noticed how the four gospels are all different?
Matthew gives us seventeen verses of family tree before telling us about the angel’s appearance to Joseph.
Mark. Well, he’s in such a hurry he doesn’t even mention the Christmas story.
John opts for a bit of theology about who Jesus is rather than recording narrative for us.
And Luke. With a doctor’s eye, he records the details. Sets the scene. Prepares the stage. Readies the reader for the entrance of the main character.
By themselves, they offer different perspectives of the same event.
Taken together, they build up a glorious picture, rich in colour, heavy in content, drawing the reader into the fullness of the story.
Read the story with fresh eyes this year. Allow yourself to take it all in. Allow it to wash over you, to soak you.
Get lost in the story.