HEAR THE CHRISTMAS STORY AS YOU'VE NEVER HEARD IT BEFOREMAKE THE JOURNEY TO THE MANGER ALONG WITHMARY AND JOSEPH, THE SHEPHERDS AND THE MAGIHas the Christmas season become the most stressful time of the year instead of the most wonderful time? Do you struggle to keep Christ in Christmas?The story of the Nativity is told in a mere 40 verses of scripture-19 in the Gospel of Matthew, 20 in the Gospel of Luke and 1 in the Gospel of John. Yet nearly each word of every verse is packed with meaning. We are all familiar with holiday words like "joy" and "glory." Have you ever wondered about their deeper meaning? The glory of the Lord (Luke 2:9) is not just part of the Christmas story but something we can experience in our own lives. Joy reminds us of the child-like innocence we used to have and can recapture.In Luke 2:20 we read "And the shepherds returned." The shepherds were still shepherds; witnessing the miracle of the Incarnation of Christ didn't change their status. It changed their hearts. Let All Creation Rejoice: Reflections for Advent, the Nativity and Epiphany is a series of short daily reflections on the scripture readings of the season, to be read during the Orthodox Christian Advent and Nativity season between November 15 and January 7.Spending a few minutes each day reading and reflecting on these scriptures will not change your status either. It will change your heart. You will better understand the "good news of a great joy," and why "the Word became flesh and dwelt among us." AND AS YOU PREPARE TO AGAIN CELEBRATE GOD'SGREATEST GIFT TO US, YOU WILL BE ABLE TO OFFER WITHA MORE GRATEFUL HEART YOUR GIFTS TO HIM. Father Stavros N. Akrotirianakis is a Greek Orthodox Priest who serves St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church in Tampa, Florida."