Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. – Ephesians 4:32
It’s that time of year again. Christmas bells are ringing. Plans are being made. Presents are being purchased and wrapped. Trees are being trimmed and lights are going up inside and outside our homes. Parties and Christmas concerts are happening every day of the month it seems.
Aside from the busyness and commercial nature of it all, it really is a beautiful season.
Unless you’re homeless that is.
Unless you don’t have a home to decorate and money to buy presents for the people you love.
Unless you aren’t part of a community that invites you to parties and concerts.
Unless you don’t have a family, or they are on the other side of the world while you’re here working 3 jobs trying to make enough money to bring them to be with you.
Then Christmas kinda sucks.
Though life is hard every day – watching everyone around you enjoying the festivities of the Christmas season makes it just a little bit harder.
So of course it’s important for those of us with family, friends, homes, jobs with benefits and holidays to be sensitive to that. Which is why kindness and compassion are our missional themes for the month of December.
At each of our ministries we do our best to be kind and compassionate to everyone we meet all year round. But we ramp it up a notch at Christmastime to try to bring hope in the most difficult season for many of the people that come through our doors.
So we decorate, we prepare turkey meals that aren’t 2nd best but that we ourselves would crave, we bring in musicians for concerts, we throw parties, we play music, we give gifts, we dress up in silly elf and Santa costumes, and we make sure everyone feels like part of the community as best we can with the resources we have.
We also respond with extra compassion and kindness to people who may be feeling sadder or madder than usual due to the season. People may come through our doors a little more upset with life than usual.
We don’t take that personally. It’s not about us.
At Christmastime that’s how we continue to strive to be ‘The Hand of God in the Heart of the City”.
Merry Christmas everyone.
Peace on earth, goodwill towards all.
God of the Christmas season
May I live this day with thanksgiving in my soul,
Compassion in my heart,
Creativity in my mind,
Kindness in my words, and
Diligence in my work.