This morning at breakfast Timmy said he had a passage to share with us… the first time he has ever done this. He said he felt God wanted to share this passage, he had thought it was in Matthew but found it in Luke. He could have stopped there, I was blessed.
He went on to read the Christmas story from Luke, in his slightly faltering reading style. he read about the promise of Jesus, the glory song of the angels and that for us had been born Christ the Lord. He went on to pray for our day and thanked God that He had sent Jesus at just the right time, as Caesar Augustus had sent the decree at that very moment the prophecy of Isaiah was fulfilled.
Of course I was in tears, what a beautiful gift. A child sharing his thoughts from his bible reading, sharing his heart in his prayers, the things he had learnt and the things he now held. It felt like my Christmas was bubbling over.
But then, later on in the morning we went to an outreach the churches together were doing. In lots of ways it does not feel like Christmas here at all, we are the only ones celebrating, to everyone else it is just another day in the lead up to their new year celebrations. This miracle my son had shared about was being missed by what feels like the whole city. So the outreach was a great opportunity to at least feel a little Christmasy! There was a stable made and in the shadow of the main mosque in the city, in front of the cities council offices, the square was filled with worship of this Saviour. Praise music blarred out competing with the mosque’s call to prayer, people gathered, came, asked, had drinks, were prayed for, were offered bibles and literature, children (and a fair few adults) watched the puppet show and children got their faces painted and had balloons made for them. It was an amazing atmosphere, joy of Christmas was here with the hope of Salvation.
At one point I noticed coming into the square a little girl skipping with a huge smile on her face and carrying a balloon shaped like a flower, closely following her was a little boy laughing and excited to get over to the puppet show and behind them another child carrying a balloon and looking at the twists and shapes. What got my attention was I knew these children, I’ve seen them before. Normally they aren’t smiley faces and skipping with joy they are street children, begging for money with big sad eyes practiced for the greatest effect. With determination to get just a little money to take home with them or buy some food. Their clothes don’t fit, they are dirty like their faces and their scruffy hair. But today they were precious, excited, wondering children, not beggars, not the lowest, not ignored or shoved away but welcomed, invited, gifted, valued.
But it wasn’t just them, it was me too, through all my dirt and grime, through my daily failings and drudge, the times I feel pushed out, ignored, unworthy. I was invited to come excited and hopeful to find this Saviour again, this newborn King, this Child born for me.
I hope you can join me skipping to see again the wonder of this Christmas.