Let’s Pretend Our Own Christmas Story

Let’s pretend Jesus knocked on your door Christmas day to join you for his birthday celebration.
Can you picture him standing there when you open the door? Can you feel your dawning recognition and surprise. Can you sense your moment of doubt, then feel it washed away by sheer joy? Do his eyes have laughter lines as he smiles with just a hint of fun at surprising you. Does his simple kindness surround you like a comforter?
Picture you inviting him in, stammering as you start to reach out to shake his hand, only to be embraced in a warm hug that brings tears of happiness and wonder to your eyes.
Let’s imagine how he might like to celebrate his birthday with you. Do you think he’d be happy if you asked him to sit down, then hurried to get the best lotion in the house to gently rub his worn and callused feet? Would he want to do the same for you? Would you protest because you feel unworthy? Or would you let him help you feel so very tenderly loved?
Maybe he’d accept a cup of coffee and then want to tell you the stories his mom used to tell over and over about giving birth in a dirty drafty barn and about the terror of fleeing to Egypt in the middle of the night with only a few clothes and little food.
Do you think Jesus might just try to fit in by eating second helpings and then nodding off now and then in front of the TV set? Would he accept a glass of wine and grin and ask if you’d like an upgrade?
Or would he possibly suggest, “Why don’t we pack up some of this turkey and dressing and yes, definitely some pie, to take to the people living in those shabby back rooms at the Highland Motel?” Or even ask, “Would you drive me up and down the interstate to check the bridges for homeless people who may need food?”
Or perhaps he’d gently make a more discomforting suggestion that some presents could be returned and the money sent to help refugees from the war in Syria.
Or perhaps he would just look into your eyes all the way to what’s hidden in your heart and quietly say, “If there is someone you have hurt or anyone who has wounded you, will you make me happy by using your phone now to reconcile with them?”
And then you’d remember what he said at that last dinner with his closest friends, “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you should also love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Then you’d feel not guilt, but regret, that you hadn’t thought of celebrating his birthday by doing more for others, even strangers, as he did his whole life.
So, you’d get your coat and gather food, even your favorite fudge pie, to take to others. And you’d see that he was smiling at you as he waved goodbye.
You didn’t feel any condemnation, only his love and a stronger desire to love others as he loves you. Because you know that God did not send his Son into the world to condemn us, but in order that we might be saved by him.
And as you start out, you’d whisper, “Happy Birthday, Jesus.” And you would know he heard.

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About Eileen

Mother of five, grandmother of eleven, great-grandmother of seven, 1955 -1959 Rice University in Houston, TX. Taught primary grades; Was Associate Post Director of Religious Education at Ft. Campbell, KY; Consultant on the Myers/Briggs Type Indicator; Presently part time Administrative Assistant/Bookkeeper for Architect husband of fifty-seven years. Blog: Laughter: Carbonated Grace

Posted on December 22, 2016, in Christmas, epiphanies, Forgiveness, Jesus, Love, Moments of Wonder, Spiritual and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. Beautiful. Happy Birthday, Jesus. And Happy Christmas, Eileen. Love, Myra

    • You too. Julian is down with breathing problems and a cough. Most of the family is, so I’m afraid it’s what Julie had
      last weekend when she was here for our family Christmas. Oh well. Same old, same old. I’ll go have some fudge pie and ice cream!

  2. Reblogged this on Fat Beggars School of Prophets and commented:
    If the Matthew-25:40-Jesus were to Revelation-3:20 at your door this Christmas, would you put on the Luke-14 party for him?

    • Thanks for the reblog and also for the scriptural backups. You are on the front lines with the Fat Beggars School of Prophets. Do you mind telling me where you minister on the streets?

      • Yes, Ma’am. Thanx for asking.

        I am a street/homeless minister in Lubbock, TX. However, I rarely hit the streets these days. Always looking for the opportunity to get back, I went to work in law enforcement recently, and that curbed my access (I know that sounds strange, but its complicated) and now days my wife and I keep foster kids (homeless, but not street-homeless).

        I mute my identity on line upholding a tradition that was started by a fellow blogger, gone now, years ago who started the secret agent network as a way to address homelessness and GIVING without bragging about the giving. An attempt to honor Matt 6:1+ and still discuss giving…

        That said, I loved your post. It reflected so much of what the Fat Beggars blog is all about that I wanted to align us with it. Thanx so much for publishing that. It is an important message to get out there. I truly hope readers find it, find conviction from it, and imagine the world differently with God’s imagination!

        X

        • Thanks. I’m in Tennessee since since shortly after marrying fifty-eight years ago, but lived in Houston through high school and college and one year of marriage. Shall follow your blog and pass it on. Also will keep the ministry in my prayers.

  3. Oh my gosh, Eileen. Did you write this? I’m sitting here with tears streaming down my face…

  4. merry X-mas, Eileen! peace and light, joy and hope… my vey best, health and tons of inspiration! cheers, Mélanie

  5. Thanx so much for visiting and responding! Thanx for asking such important questions! Thanx for taking this stuff seriously!

    I have no doubt you are in over your head. The moment you decided to care, really care, you already were in deep over your heard! This is something you find out as you go, and it is so disheartening that people often get back out quickly, or even more than that, don’t bother to begin with. So, THANX!!!

    I will offer thoughts here that will not be complete answers, but they go in two distinct directions and hopefully will help.

    First off, the logistics…

    To begin with, this is where the task gets soooooo daunting. And as soon as you finally get all the ducks in a row, you will find that the homeless themselves will not respond for whatever reasons… Please don’t get spiteful, even if you get angry. This is normal, and plenty of folk will discourage you for enduring it.

    I am not a logistics guy. I will point you to at least one person I think can give you some real insight, but this person will not speak FOR me. I am not cut from that cloth, nor do I see it as the better angle to work, but MOST folk in the field do, so I am in the minority on this.

    I suggest you get on Miss Amy’s blog (I am sure she has facebook too, but I don’t use fb, so I cannot direct you there). But Miss Amy has my sincere respect, and I figure you will find a wealth of wisdom with her. You can find her blog here:

    https://themiraclesisee.wordpress.com/

    Tell her I sent you. The respect is mutual! She will be glad to share, I am sure. If she does not, or if you want more, let me know, I can put you in touch with others.

    Now… one more input on that front…

    I am not a practitioner of HOUSING FIRST, nor am I uncritical of the method, but I find it somewhat of a “close second” and it seems to offer surprisingly important results. HOUSING FIRST seems to have started in Utah, as best I can tell, and you can google it and find a lot more on it. But basically, the state of Utah got to adding up the amount of cost to the public for having humans wasting away in addiction, illness and whatnot. They measured the cost in hospital bills, court costs, jail housing and all that. A common cold for a person on the streets gets treated in the ER, and often leads to hospitalization, public intoxication leads to two weeks in jail, plus court costs etc… It only takes about one or two days of either of those costs to exceed the cost of having the government just put these people up in an apartment.

    Housing First was initially, and largely still is, concerned with SAVING MONEY, which it does! The extraordinary finding in this though is that even when they started housing the worst of the worst, the total junkies and winos who were costing the system the most, suddenly a LOT (not all, but a LOT) of these people showed signs of tremendous life changes. Their lives began taking root when they found themselves HOUSED. Suddenly it was not just a cost saving measure, but a life giving measure! And this is, and has been, deeply counter-intuitive since stuff like JOB TRAINing and Addiction Management has for soooooo long been viewed as necessary prerequisite to HELPING the homeless.

    So, I strongly urge you to research “HOUSING FIRST”. That is the term they use for it.

    Now… to the thing I AM ALL ABOUT.

    I am a Christian minister. At one level it appears that I am into homeless ministry, which is true, but not really the core of it. I actually am a community minister who sees God among the poor and homeless and as long as they are not in church, I see the community as lacking God in church.

    This looks all theological, which it is, but that suddenly sounds impractical, which it’s not. We live in God’s creation, theology is practical in HIS world.

    I recognize that there are logistics involved, some of which deal with mental illness, war related PTSD, and so forth. Some tramps, that is what they call themselves (at least the older ones) will not accept your invitation even if you put a cherry on top. There are ways to mitigate this, and that should be done to the extent we can. We had a guy freeze to death in a blizzard here in Lubbock last winter even after he refused the cops urging him to take shelter AND they would give him a ride there! However, having worked in a psych ward, I recognize that was cause to do an emergency detention, and sometimes cops don’t recognize that. Anyway, the poor man froze to death in a miserable way, even though it was his choice, he should not have been allowed it.

    I tell that story to demonstrate the complications get to that level. I have ideas about addressing such things, but at root, I think it is important for CHURCHES especially, and individual Christian homes in general to seek out hosting these people and incorporating them into the family at that brother sister level. I am not stupid. I know that does not happen over night or just for the asking, but I insist it can be done and if we really want to be the hands and feet of JESUS we MUST start figuring that out.

    NO human being should be homeless. Our culture is sick. The CHURCH holds the cure, but the church cannot afford to think we can just go with the flow of the culture ANYMORE in order to begin the process of healing.

    Just consider the agriculture of American life even 150 years ago. No. I don’t idolize either that time or place, but it certainly was a lot closer to God and to providing a sense of HOME and FAMILY than this consumer-driven, divorce-ridden culture we currently have!

    Anyway, that is pretty much my two bits. And I maximize on the second one far more than the first. However, I don’t really expect you to see these things the way I do, and besides, the HOUSING FIRST is making a difference, if not THE difference. Even a difference is worth noting!

    I hope this helps. I look forward to further contact if I can be of assistance. And again, I THANK YOU for caring and asking!!!

    X

    • Thanks tons. I will check out Miss Amy’s blog. I agree with you that the church holds the cure, but have found
      that lots of churches are mostly filled with “church goers” not necessarily people totally committed to God and in a relationship with Christ.
      However, I have been surprised at how many churches are trying to help and how small some are. One tiny Episcopal church feeds 100 people one day every week. That counts the shut ins living in the projects that they take the food to them.
      All I was trying to do was to gather and distribute information in the hopes that people would coordinate their efforts. Some God coincidences got me involved and I haven’t managed much, but hope to have time and health to do more now.
      I’m 79 and my husband has a progressive and incurable disease. He is still working as an architect from home, but has intermittent times when he can’t work and needs me. So, I am mostly limited to phone calls and writing. But, I am going to keep plugging away, so I appreciate your help. You gave me lots to research that I didn’t know about.

  6. Reposted at Jesus House Western Maryland (facebook). Christmas blessings to you.

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