Greetings from the Meads! I pray you all had a great Thanksgiving celebration. We joined friends to go out to a restaurant for a Thanksgiving feast. The meal was very good but one item ran out as we arrived… turkey! I was able to get the last piece and shared it. Oh well; there were many other choices. Then on our Friday morning, the midwest’s Thanksgiving evening, we were able to FaceTime our kids. We heard the Lions won, so later, when I went on my walk, I wore my Lions cap in celebration! The call made our Thanksgiving complete.
We are seeing more and more Christmas decorations all around town. My favorites are the groupings of a half dozen or so bamboo poles painted silver. Other poles decorated with stars, moons, and balls swing in the breeze. This is something I haven’t seen before.
Christmas, like Thanksgiving, is a celebration that can be easy to miss. Christmas is not about fighting the crowds and shopping for gifts, although this can be an enjoyable part. Christmas is not about parties and food, but again this is a great time. Christmas is not even about enjoying classic Christmas TV and movie programs. Christmas is all about a miracle.
Over two thousand years ago, God entered our world. God chose not to come in fearful judgment. God came in grace and love. God came in flesh to live among us, to experience life, to teach, to love, to heal, and finally, to die for us. If that was the end, Jesus would be merely a good man, or a crazy man making wild claims.
But Christmas is followed by Easter, when Jesus rose from the dead. Jesus did what man could never do on his own. Jesus bridged the gap between our reality and God’s perfection. We are saved because God chose to come and save us.
Christmas is indeed a time to celebrate. Because God loves us, we should reach out to others in His love. Mere words are never enough for a gift this grand. We live by and in God’s grace. Grace means not getting what we deserve. We deserve justice for all our shortcomings, but God give us the grace of His love. Likewise, we should reach out to others in grace. For those serving at CURE, this grace may be straightening a crooked limb, decompressing a swollen brain, correcting a malformed hand, or loving a patient and their family. Those living in grace may be called to help feed the hungry or clothe those in need. Some are called to visit the lonely or those in prison. Orphans can find homes if we reach out in grace. Those who hurt us can be forgiven. Opportunities to live out the grace given to you are all around.
This is never more true than at Christmas. Christmas is a time of great joy and also a time of great sorrow. Loneliness is particularly great in this holiday season. As many eat too much and are surrounded by excess, others wonder where their next meal will be found. Maybe you too remember a time of loneliness or need when it appeared no one cared. Now would be a great time to seek out those in need. Opportunities may be as close as a widow down the street, a man on the corner, or a person waiting in the cold for a bus.
Celebrate the true Christmas! Continue then through all of the coming year to reach out in love. We live in a special place in His grip.