Monday, January 09, 2012
I am not a great fan of the way most people celebrate Christmas. It often is to do with an excess of spending and indulging and bears little resemblance to a Christian celebration. Over the years as a family we decided to stop giving presents and see it as a time to celebrate each other and spend the time together enjoying that.
This year was very special. Our daughter Jenny is now living in South Africa with her husband Louwrens and is expecting her first child due any time now. It was sad not to have her here but God made up for that with an international set of guests.
We had three nationalities staying with us over the holidays. Mary lives with us permanently and is from Lebanon. She has become a daughter in our home integrating well with the rest of us. Dinah is a student at Aston University and the newest convert in our church. She is from China and is studying in the UK with a view to doing a Masters degree. Werner was also a temporary guest visiting from the Harvester Church in Cape Town. He was here to see his girlfriend Katie, a church member, and do some work in the Church.
I cooked breakfast for us all Christmas morning. It felt so right to have all of us together. It reminded me of the unity that comes from belonging to Christ and the fact that there is no national barrier between God's people. We are one in Christ.
We held the Christmas Day service in our home which continued this sense of family. It was special to worship and pray with each other. Tears were shed and bonds were strengthened.
I think I have now discovered how to celebrate Christmas. Make it a celebration of the family of God and the wonder of His Body.
So next year who knows who will be with us.