LJA students have been listening to Christmas worship stories. I have been telling stories from Joe Wheeler’s books, Christmas in my Heart. The author, a former English professor at Atlantic Union College, brings together the best old familiar favorites and fresh new yarns from his literary treasure trove. The riches of master storytellers such as Pearl S. Buck, Madeleine L’Engle, Taylor Caldwell, and O. Henry are combined with stirring tales from classic Christmas stories that warm your heart and put a smile on your face.

To me the stories sparkle and shine as I tell these vintage Christmas stories. They reflect the true meaning of Christmas. There is joy, peace, and a feeling of family found in each story. Several of the stories involved people riding on trains during the Christmas holiday. It was a challenge to explain that we used to travel by trains as frequently as we now travel by airplanes and cars.

There’s another train I think about when I tell stories about trains. Its title is, The Gospel Train. The lyrics tell us to “Get on board little children. There’s plenty a room for more.” My Christmas prayer this year, and every year, is that our youth will get on board the real Gospel Train and stay on board until Jesus comes again!

Susan Zimmermann