GIVE MORE (Deb Buhrow)
I am thankful for the ways Christmas brings me together with family, friends and neighbours. When I look back at Christmases past I think of times shared with people more than gifts I received.
As a child I remember driving with my mom through snowy weather Christmas Day to visit with my grandma, aunts, uncles and cousins, and I remember how hard it was to leave my toys behind! When I was a teenager a family from the church invited my mom and me over for Christmas Eve and that began a long tradition of getting together with them and their children. I remember preparing special desserts for the evening and helping wrap presents for the kids as soon as they fell asleep. Nowadays Randy and I have a tradition of inviting friends to our place Christmas Eve.
A special gift to Randy and me early in our marriage was a meal with our friends who were home from California over the holidays. Our friend’s parents had bid on a meal at a youth fundraiser dinner and gave it to their son so we could have a chance to visit, just the four of us. The couple that had put the meal up for auction made it so special, with a beautifully dressed table and quiet atmosphere and amazing food. It was such a blessing for us to have time with friends we don’t get to see often.
In recent years, the weeks leading up to Christmas are filled with baking with friends and their young children, taking Emma to the live nativity at Bethany Church, getting together with Randy’s cousins who live in town for a Chinese Food meal and taking part in a cookie exchange with neighbours. A highlight every year is singing Christmas Carols at the Candlelight Christmas Eve Service and focusing on the birth of Christ.
Our relationship with Christ is reflected in our relationships with others and I think this is especially true at Christmas.
Challenge (by Devon Wagler)
I wonder if the people who originally heard this from Isaiah would have understood it. If they would have realized this was a messianic prophecy, would they have thought that statements such as ‘the deaf will hear,’ and ‘the blind will see,’ would be literal?
How do you think Jesus can heal you this Christmas? Is it freedom from an idea of what the perfect Christmas needs to be? Can he heal you from loneliness? Give some time to be healed from what this world makes Christmas to be.
“Christmas, my child, is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it’s Christmas.”
(Dale Evans Rogers)