Sunday was a white Christmas, for sure.

Oh, know it didn’t snow – although that was a

possibility – but it was a day when thoughts and attitudes were

about as clean and pure as any other day. It was a snowy Christmas,

regardless of the weather.

So we waited eagerly for Sunday morning. It’s the

best day of the week all year long, anyway; and folks were

particularly kind and worshipful on this Sunday.

Now we have a chance to sit back and visit. You know

what it is we talk about every year. We’ve discussed this great

narrative this week for 15 years now. If you’re new to town – or

are a third-grader who has just learned to read – you’re a special

guest this year as we look at the story of a little baby boy born

in a barn in Bethlehem a long, long time ago.

Isn’t it amazing how the world pauses together at

this time! We’re too busy to stop, I guess. But at least we


Even the man who doesn’t say a lot of prayers through

the year, or the man who has made a big mess out of his life – even

he cannot help himself from pausing. Something must compel him to

look around and take in all these sights and sounds – and, while

he’s at it, take a glimpse inside, too.

Not that we should only do this once a year. Still,

it’s good – just for a moment if nothing more – to remember what

matters most, and to remember how we should feel and how we should

be the other 364 days of the year.

There’s hope in that. That gives that man who has

traveled too far down some bumpy road hope that he can cut across

the pasture and get back on the pavement before sundown.

That hope is because of today’s story, the

2,000-year-old story of a young baby boy who was born of a virgin

in a little town, both being looked over by a star.

Oh, I know, we make it too fancy and commercial. But

that’s us. Our lives are Broadway plays where the actors stream

across the stage like shooting stars.

But this story convicts us even of that as we pause.

Maybe that’s why we like to hear it. We never tire of the story of

the King of kings, born in a barn because the Holiday Inn of the

day had no vacancies. The scene never grows old: the baby was born

in a splintery manger, wrapped in swaddling clothes, unnoticed.

Well, not unnoticed completely.

Not far away were some shepherds watching their

flocks. Suddenly a light shone around them, and an angel appeared,

then a thousand more. Those poor, simple men were scared nearly to

death, until the singing started. Ah, they had never heard anything

like that. The world had never heard anything like that. Still


The song said it all. It was the world’s greatest

message: “Glory to God, and on earth peace, good will toward


Since that evening when the words of that song filled

the chilly Bethlehem air – harmonized by a thousand angelic voices

– the world has never been the same.

Because of it and the gift it ushered into the world

– because of that brilliant barnyard scene from long ago – you will

do something special this year.

So will I.

Together we’ll pause.


Steve Bowen is a coach and teacher with Red Oak

ISD and a regular columnist in the Chronicle. He may be reached by

e-mail at