I am overwhelmed by Christmas. Or I should say, I am overwhelmed by what Americans call Christmas. The music in November, the decorations in October. Buying people things they don’t need with money you don’t have. The traditions that just keep going “one more year” because we did it, without knowing why, every year.
Where is Jesus in all of this mess? Where is the Christ in Christmas?
It all started with the night that Jesus, the Son of God, came to earth as a baby to redeem us, to buy us back, from the bondage of sin, that we choose.
There were no icicle lights, no inflatable “decorations”. Just stars.
There were no songs about Mommy Kissing Santa. But there was a great company of the heavenly host appearing with an angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
There wasn’t even room in the inn. Our Lord was born among the manure.
Jesus came to give us what we needed the most. Life. I invite you this Christmas to do the same.
Let me introduce you to my dear friends Stephen and Aby Nelms. I was there when they met. I stood beside them, wearing an eggplant colored dress, on their wedding day. We have dreamed dreams and planted ministries together. We cry so hard we laugh. And we laugh so hard we pee. And now they live 7786.3 Miles away.
They have walked away from the American Dream. Stephen, a wildly successful stockbroker in New York City, left it all to become a pastor in the suburbs, and left it all again to go to the villages of Zambia. Aby, a brilliantly talented professional photographer, walked away by her husband’s side with their two adorable babies in tow.
They are surrounded by people who don’t speak their language and don’t “get them”. They live among strangers, some of which have scammed them. They don’t have a car. They barely have electricity. They can’t update their blog, and main source of “Marketing and Fundraising” because they have very limited internet access. When there is not a flood of too much water, they only have running water two hours a day.
They have a vision to give what the Zambians need most. Life. Life through Christ. So like Jesus, they surrendered their idea of comfort for a greater cause. They are valuing the Zambians higher than themselves.
If you were going to give me a gift this Christmas. Please reconsider.
I don’t want another sweater. I don’t need a snow globe or a scented candle.
I am requesting that whatever amount you would have spent on a gift, wrapping and postage, please give it to Stephen and Aby instead.
You can send it to me, and I will forward to Stephen and Aby.
You can donate to them directly through Gospelink.
Scroll down to #22 Other Needs. Type in Give Life, Stephen and Aby, and the amount you would like to donate.
Join me this Christmas in redeeming this holiday season. Taking it back to where it began. Jesus.
By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth 1 John 3: 16-18
http://silvaniphoto.wordpress.com/ (Aby’s blog where you can find ministry opportunities and updates)
http://www.givelifeproject.com/ (The online “home” for Aby and Stephen’s ministry)