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Candle in the Night

Thursday, December 22, 2011

31 Days to Christmas Day 28: Caroling

Have you ever been Christmas caroling?  If not, you're missing something significant in your life!  I haven't gone in two years now due to having babies that shouldn't be out in the cold weather, but I can't wait to go next year when they're both a little bigger.  Going from door to door, spreading warmth and Christmas cheer.  We've frequently had people tell us that they'd never been caroled to before.
Getting to know your neighbors is such a neat thing to do and caroling is a great place to start.  This year, our neighborhood president sent a letter in our December newsletter and I really wanted to share it here.  Her sentiments were so beautiful, I thought they were worth sharing.  Because of the following letter, I went to the neighborhood Christmas meeting hoping to meet some of my neighbors, now knowing that at least some of them were worth meeting.  What a blessing!  I look forward to next month's meeting and getting to know my neighbors even more.

Here is the letter.

For twelve months now as your new president, each month I've struggled to share my own heart and vision for this neighborhood.  This Christmas as I reflect on all you are to me, it is my wish that you all are empowered each day, every neighbor to bring your own gifts to the table.  I want to celebrate all your gifts.  There is a place for them all.  

Perhaps you've heard it said, "Jesus is the Reason for the Season", but as I ran across an old Christmas classic and favorite by David Meece, I was reminded that, "We are the reason for the Season"!  Jesus was the gift of the Father for YOU.  The Christmas I know includes the birth of a little baby sent as the best gift ever, from the best gift-giver ever!  We can re-gift this gift of joy all year long.  And the wonderful thing is that in giving it away, we don't lose the gift, we still keep it!  And the gift is the same yesterday, today and forever.  It is timeless.  It truly is the gift that keeps on giving.  Especially at Christmas, this joy is often stolen.  When the days become stress-filled, when our bank account is empty, or we may not even have the income to have a bank account, when we question the circumstances we find ourselves in, we can still have this joy.  We live in a world that has taught us that if we do not get back, when giving, we've been robbed, or there is nothing in it for us.  This is a lie that leads to apathy and hopelessness.  And we have enough of that!  

I remember raising 3 children, working 2 jobs, living in a house with no heat in the kitchen.  Christmas was approaching and I was convinced no one really noticed what I was going through.  The weather outside refleted my cloudy gray disposition to a "T." As I was struggling to find dinner in the cold kitchen, I heard a knock.  My kids' babysitter and her mother were at the door.  They burst into the house with piping hot homemade bread, hot soup, delicious jelly and a wonderful herbed cheese spread.  They left as quickly as they came.  They were unaware of my cold kitchen in the back of the house.  That little meal was so soul-warming.  To this day, I do not know if I can put enough words down to explain how nurtured and loved I felt.  I was not in a close relationship with them, but for some reason, I'd made it onto "their list" of people they wanted to share homemade gifts with that year.  Accepting God's grand invitation to celebrate Christ's birth every day is one way to appreciate the magnitude of Christmas.  

Merry Christmas to all my neighbors and friends!  May peace and joy find it's way to your heart, the hearts of your family and friends, this Christmas and into the year ahead.  

I was so blessed by this letter.  Look for ways this Christmas to bring warmth and joy to your neighbors.

Caroling (and sharing the Joy of Christmas with your neighbors in other ways) always makes me think of the shepherds.  They saw the Christ Child and had the best news ever to share!  That is essentially what we do as we carol to our neighbors.  We share the Joy of Christmas!

Luke 2:17-18

And when they had seen, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.  All they who heard it, wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds;

Candle in the Night



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