Christmas by Heart: Day 1

Christmas by Heart: Day 1

 1 Story
12 Days

I love worshiping during Advent and Christmas…but for years, the bane of my liturgy-planning existence was figuring out my Christmas Eve message for the 5p.m. Christmas Eve service–you know, the one with hoards of children, many of whom have not been to church in a year, all of whom are a little excited with Christmas fever. We don’t preach a full sermon at that service, but have tried to stick to a standard format, which means there is time for a short meditation. Every year that I’ve been in charge I’ve struggled to create something accessible to children and adults, that can capture their collective attention. Mostly it’s resulted in fairly-lame attempts to be funny or relevant. All that changed the year I decided to tell the story by heart. What more could I possibly add to the wonder of the story of God’s coming to be with us in the form of an infant? I have come to realize that especially on Christmas Eve, especially at that service, the story is enough. If I can enter into the wonder of it as a storyteller, I can invite others to wonder with me.

Whether you’re telling at home or in worship…do tell! This 12 day series (to be released on weekdays) will help you learn and wonder as your commit the Luke 2 birth narrative to heart. If you participated in the #storyonfire series, this one will have a little overlap, but will certainly be different. I am most excited about the contributions by Mark Davis (who will help us consider the context and translation of the story), and Ann Timmons (who will provide tips for telling)!



About the Contributors


The Rev. Dr. D. Mark Davis

Ordained in 1996, Mark Davis holds a Ph.D. in Theology, Ethics and Culture from the University of Iowa and a D. Min. from Union Presbyterian Seminary in Virginia. He is the author of two books: “Talking About Evangelism,” (May 2006), and “Left Behind and Loving It (Fall 2011), he blogs intensive Bible studies regularly at,and is a frequent contributor to The Politics of Scripture blog. Mark is a music lover who sings and plays the saxophone. Mark and his wife, Chris, have four children ranging in age from 12 to 23 .

Ann Timmons

Ann Timmons is a communications artist, actor, director and playwright. In her work as a communications artist, she helps clients discover and embrace their unique leadership presence. Clients include current political leaders at the local, state and national levels, as well as national association leaders and executives. Currently, Ann teaches in both the School of Communications and School of Public Affairs at American University. She also consults as a valued speech coach to nonprofit executives, business leaders, and elected officials.

Ann is committed to creating work that examines preconceptions and “received truths” through the prism of history. Her original one-woman show, Off the Wall The Life and Works of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, premiered Off-Broadway at the Samuel Beckett Theatre prior to a nation-wide tour that spanned 16 years. Her most recent work is Becoming Calvin, a play commissioned by the Reformed Institute of  Metropolitan Washington. Becoming Calvin explores the lives of characters living at the crossroads of history, caught up in the complex relationships between royalty and Rome, leaders of the Church and leaders of state. The play takes the audience on a journey with one extraordinary young scholar as he realizes his destiny, as it asks the question: What would you give up for your freedom? Ann has won grants and commissions for her original plays, including Beyond Shadowlands, The Home/Place Play, and The Jamestown Adventure Express(commissioned for America’s 400th Anniversary Celebration).

A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Wellesley College, she received her Master of Fine Arts in Theatre from the University of Illinois. Ann is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild of America, Actors’ Equity Association and  SAG-AFTRA. Visit her website at

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