Good morning! The past few mornings, I have awakened early here in Michigan to leave my warm bed and seek the welcome quiet of my special reading chair. The chair and footrest may not look all that grand to you, but I find them comfortable. A large mug of coffee rests at my left, and a bookcase with a selection of reading options is at my right. Ahead of me, windows are facing the street. Across the street, the lights highlight the falling snow. We have had periodic snow for the past few days. The brown grass is now beautifully covered with a white fluffy blanket. I have had the opportunity to relearn what it means to shovel the walks. After the hot, humid days of the Philippines, it is a welcome change to bundle up and enjoy the cold.
December is always a busy month. Students are finishing school and looking forward to a break. End of the year financial plans and audits come to a close. People get together to celebrate. Food appears to be a necessary element of every event. Stores are filled with shoppers looking for the perfect present, needed foods, and more decorations. Wow! Christmas 2017.
Sometimes amidst the glitter and noise, the reason we celebrate is lost. Christmas should be a season of “awe and wonder” as the song goes. When Christ was born, there were no Christmas sales going on. No one decided to place inflatable Santas or colored lights at their homes. Jesus was not born into a wealthy, powerful family. Mary and Joseph were weary travelers coming to Bethlehem by government decree. No family offered them a place to stay. No hotel had a room. Imagine delivering a child in a barn.
At Christmas, we celebrate Jesus leaving the glory of heaven to come down in human form to save us. Jesus arrived a perfect man and God Emmanuel. Jesus led a life filled with trials, work, joy, and sorrow. Jesus came showing us the perfect love of God and was rejected by many. Jesus became the perfect sacrifice so that we could have peace with God. Resurrection shouts joy. Even though our sins call for the judgment of death from a perfect God, we are reconciled to life through Christ Jesus. Why would God do this for me? I am not perfect nor worth the pain and suffering. I do not know, but accept this gift.
Christmas is a time of hope. We have this hope—this faith—despite feelings or circumstances. Because we have this hope, we reach out to others. We give gifts, not out of obligation, but as a sign of our joy. Christmas is a great time to show your faith through your actions. Help out a neighbor. Hug someone lonely. Feed someone hungry. Write checks to support organizations working with various needs. Volunteer your time, finances, and talents. Turn the focus off you and look to others.
The Meads wish you all the blessings of Christmas! We thank you for your support of our work at CURE International with the children who have physical disabilities. You are a member of an awesome CURE team seeking to transform the lives of these kids and their families. The needs continue, but each year, the CURE team impacts many lives.
Merry Christmas to all who travel this life in His grip.
To donate to CURE in honor of Tim & Jana Mead, visit cure.org/donate/staff/tim-mead.