Tell Me A Story

Thursday, December 7, 2017
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Child In The Manger"1 (Lyrics)

2 Timothy 4:6-9 – As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing. (NRSV)

For my first Christmas as a new grandma, I received a very special present from my grown daughter, the sister of the baby's father. It was a collection of books containing her favourite childhood bedtime stories for me to share with her little nephew.

I could hardly wait for the day when Willy would be a little older so I could read him bedtime stories wrapped in the arms of love. But as time passed, there was a problem with my dream becoming a reality. Willy was a busy boy. He was never still until sleep finally claimed him. Year after year, I tried to read him a story. Year after year, I put the book back on the shelf — unread.

Then, one Saturday night, when he was all ready for bed, Willy spoke the words that I had longed to hear. "Read me a story, Grandma." It was music to my ears!

"I'd love to." I replied. "You crawl under the covers while I go downstairs to get a book."

"No, Grandma. Read this one!" he said emphatically, as he reached up to the bookshelf beside his bed and pulled out a Bible. Not one of the child's Bibles with colourful pictures, but a plain old blue Bible with lots of words and no pictures. He insisted and would accept no substitutions.

So, I whispered a little prayer and opened the book at the beginning, and told him the story of how God made the world and everything in it, in words a child of three could understand.

It was one of those magical moments, cuddling together as night fell, sharing the goodness of God with this precious little boy.

Although it wasn't the story time that I had dreamed of long before, it probably was the story time that God dreamed of … with stories of faith being passed from one generation to another. For one reason or another, it isn't always easy to share our faith, even within our extended family circle.

In today's Scripture, Paul is writing his words of farewell to Timothy, his child in the faith. Like Paul, many of us may realize that we are closer to the end of our life than its beginning. By faith, we know that our heavenly homecoming is assured, but sometimes, we need a little reminder that our work is not yet done. We have stories to tell, life experiences to share, and children and grandchildren to nurture in faith and love.

This Advent, as we look forward to the coming of Christ, may we also look for new ways of telling the old, old story … of how Love came down to dwell among us … wrapped in a blanket, laid in a manger.

Prayer: Dear God, thank You for opening doors of opportunity for us to share our faith. May Your great grace and love show forth in all we do and say. Amen.

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About the author:

Helen Hartai <>
Nestleton, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Wonderful story and challenge, Helen.

    Thanks Helen for sharing this touching devotional with us. Blessings.

    Your devotional this morning was a blessing to me. Thank you.

    Hello Helen,
    Thanks for a wonderful challenge. Keep writing.

    Helen – a lovely meditation and a reminder that God’s plans are not always our own! Merry Christmas and keep writing.

    What a wonderful story.
    And the child only 3!
    As Jesus said, “A little child shall lead..”
    Thanks for sharing this.

    Thanks for sharing the joy of being able to pass on your faith to the ‘ye little ones’.
    God bless you,

    What a wonderful experience. It exemplifies ‘waiting on the Lord’ since it took 3 long years for the little one to ask. Then the joy of his wanting to hear about God! Thank you for reminding us that as long as we’re here we have work to do for the Lord, passing on the Good News to another generation. Well done.

    Hi Helen,
    What a lovely story! We agree completely that our work is not yet done. We especially takes every opportunity to share our faith with our grandchildren.
    Thank you, and may the grace and peace of Christ be with you!

    Helen, this is a beautiful devotion meant to warm our hearts during advent.
    I find this especially poignant this time of year as we all are missing loved ones but memories bring them back to remind us of how blessed we have been by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in our lives. Thanks so much. I plan to send this on to our family.

    Dear Helen,
    Such a precious devotional of love and witness!
    I pray that God will continue to give you opportunities to share your faith with your grand-lad as he grows; and I pray that he will continue to grow in grace and in fellowship with Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord. And I pray that he will continue to want to choose God’s Word as the guide in his life and come to a personal decision that nothing and no one else will have preeminence.
    Keep writing.

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