D. L. Mayfield rediscovers the Magnificat and wonders why this ancient and overturning prayer is so unknown to Evangelicals: “Why has this song been forgotten, or trimmed, for so many people who grew up evangelical? It could be a byproduct of the Reformation, which caused Protestants to devalue Mary in reaction to Catholic theology. Or a lack of familiarity with liturgy, and an emphasis on other texts. Or perhaps the song doesn’t sound like good news if you are well fed, or rich, or in a position of power and might — or if you benefit from systems that oppress.”

The incarnation is not happenstance. It is the center of the Christian faith. Julie Canlis reorients the modern Christian: “The story of the Incarnation is shockingly domestic. When he comes to earth, God places himself not in a palace but in a family. It is there, in the confines of siblings and parents, unnoticed by the whole world, that the new creation begins.”

Elrena Evans describes the painful experience of losing her children’s school and relearning to celebrate Christmas. She writes, “As this reality slowly sinks in for my children, all the things my son will miss unfold like a litany of mourning. Christmas chapel. The kindergarten Christmas play. The field trip to the planetarium. Dressing up on Dr. Seuss day. Singing for the Mother’s Day brunch. Because the school is such a large part of our life, its traditions have become our traditions. We cry. And my son careens around the room, pa-rum-pa-pa-pum, banging on his drum.”

Cate MacDonald would like to reclaim the lost narrative about women that once was an essential part of western Christian thought. She writes, “This is a part of the Christian story, a part of the Bible itself, that I think we’ve too often forgotten to tell, bowing, in our own way, to the common modern idea that Christianity is, at its core, oppressive to women. Instead of fighting back tooth and nail we most often answer only that Christian wives and mothers are very happy, or that women want the strong manly leaders our churches encourage. And that’s really not the story we need to be telling.”

Greg Coles dismantles the American Christmas Narrative. He writes, “How are you supposed to kiss under the mistletoe if you never kiss, period? How will you lavish your kids with Christmas euphoria if you never have kids? How can you make Christmas all about family when you sometimes spend Christmases with people you aren’t even related to?”

Jason Soroski writes about the Christian message in a Christmas classic: “But while working so diligently to learn those lines, there is one important thing I didn’t notice then, and didn’t notice until now. Right in the middle of speaking, Linus drops the blanket.”

Stefani Carmichael considers the beauty of waiting in the right kind of way. She writes, “We can certainly wait or hope for the wrong things, and if we do we can be disappointed. But if we are living out the faith of the Bible, then we are supposed to be expectantly waiting for the right things—things we are promised in his word.”

Kristen O’Neal writes about the origins of a beloved Longfellow poem:
“The original poem, like the song, begins with an image of merrily ringing bells, a marker of the incarnation and a herald of sacred things. The bells remind him of everything that should be made riht by the sound of Christmas: peace on earth; goodwill to men; wrongs made right; night crossing over into day, bright and holy.”