Well, my family’s first Christmas in our new city was a fail on my part. Wallowing in my own self pity, I mulled over my lack of preparation, then I felt as though God was nudging me to reflect on things I should be thankful for…
The five of us are healthy. We have all that we need, while many families in Queensland and New South Wales are flooded out, not to mention many more around the world who struggle to obtain what they need to survive. If we were in Perth for (a scorching hot) Christmas day we would have one festive meal that both sets of grandparents attend. We all contribute to the meal, so it’s a team effort, and the kids would also get to hang out with their beloved cousins.
We had done lots of baking, but I hadn’t planned a special Christmas meal. Yet, our fridge, freezer and pantry were packed to the hilt. Then I felt like God was saying…well look, at least you have food!
We had morning tea with some other families, who I’d met through MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers). Our wonderful hosts had a busy day as it was, and made some room for the five of us, for which we were extremely grateful. Also in the week before Christmas (including Christmas eve) we received invitations to gatherings for people without any family to celebrate with. We received cards and emails, phone calls and text messages from so many. Our friends all over the world were thinking of us, on a day that we most likely had celebrated with them at least once in the past, either by attending a church service, or sharing a meal together.
Jesus birth was not celebrated with pomp and circumstance, nor with the over-indulgence of food, drink and expensive presents. He came to Earth in a little manger, so that WE MIGHT LIVE. He came to bring people together, and to bring people to God through himself. “Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there with them.” He connects me to dear friends in The Netherlands, the UK, the USA, and the other side of Australia through love and prayer. He reminds me that Christmas is about connection.
I have a strong sense that this is what God wanted me to experience all along… a very simple Christmas day to reflect on what is important. One word sums up what this Christmas has taught me about…CONNECTION.
CONNECTION TO FAMILY by being together
CONNECTION TO OTHERS through community
CONNECTION TO GOD through Jesus