[This is part of a series of posts we are doing as personal blog posts to feed your souls. Check out the rest of them here.]
I grew up in the church and have served as both ‘volunteer and full-time staff‘ in a local church. This has given me a front row seat behind the scenes. I’ve been caught up in the whirlwind of planning Christmas services and everything else that goes with the holiday season in church life. Christmas is also a time that people are not only friendlier to each other but open to the message of Christ. The wider community, feels like a community.
People are a little nicer to each other (except in traffic, that stays the same). In Cape Town, South Africa, where I live, it isn’t offensive to wish each other a merry Christmas, so we do so. People are kinder and friendlier to each other. We share our sunscreen at the beach (glorious summer in my part of the world). Radio shows rally companies and the public to give toward causes and individuals with need. I wish the rest of year was like that. Different beliefs don’t get in the way of Ubuntu.
Ubuntu (not the Linux distribution) is a word easily understood embraced in South Africa. It captures the essence of community, genuine care and recognition of each other. That is one of the other reasons I love the Christmas season.
The Thing About Christmas
I hate it when people lament the ‘death of the spirit and commercialisation of Christmas, at the expense of living out what Christmas what Christmas is about. I feel nothing speaks better about the essence of Christmas than living it out. Christmas was about God loving us so much that He had to reconcile us to Himself, first, then to each other.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Nothing speaks better about the essence of Christmas than living it out.” quote=”Nothing speaks better about the essence of Christmas than living it out – @blessingmpofu”]
How God treated and treats us must also translate to how we treat others. Family, friends, neighbours (including strangers). As I reflect on Christmas this year the theme that comes strongest is about relationships and reconciliation. I’ve heard many stories of how people are more open evaluate the quality of their relationships, and where needed, reconcile during the Christmas season. A glimpse of the essence of Christmas.
This can sound cliché but I’m grateful for the sense of community I have with the ChurchMag writers / team. Over the year we’ve shared things that have made us laugh, GIFs, things we thought were cool, in a sense cried for and prayed for each other. We did this while creating and sharing content with many more.
I love that we, in whatever, even small ways, got to serve – another expression of Christmas. Even with the Internet transcending time and geography, it is not likely we would have the relationship we do on ChurchMag, if it wasn’t for Christmas.
I feel like what I’m saying is cliché. It is still true, however. Thanks Jesus for the Internet and Christmas.
I’ve never been great at following things like the advent calendar. Some of my friends are so good at doing that I almost feel guilty for not. My, let’s say, respite, is that I’m reminded to be more mindful of people, relationships and where necessary reconciliation.
Churches all around the world work hard to take advantage of people’s openness to reconciliation with God. They start way before December; preparing, being intentional about reaching their communities for an introduction to Jesus – relationship and reconciliation. Heaven sees and rejoices. All worth it.
For all of us – a great time for relationships and reconciliation. We’re reminded that God loved and loves us enough to come to us, reconcile us to Himself, giving us an example to follow, to live by.
Christmas caring: Do we need to reconnect with anyone? If not, perhaps a little more intentional in gratitude and appreciate for relationship with God and each other.