My paper plate has food on it I can’t pronounce and also stuffed grapeleaves and these amazing dulce de leche shortbread cookies from Argentina. The host home is lit from stem to stern and Christmas music plays, and we each eyeball name tags and become as familiar as we can to countries from around this globe, kind smiles, exotic food, what young ones dream to be, how to pronounce names, what their names mean.
My friend’s students hadn’t known any English until they entered his class, and they’ve learned well, so at semester end, we throw them a Christmas party, and there our aim is LOVE. Our Community Group takes it to them saran-wrapped with chocolates and in the full-grin faces of our children. We grownups nervously handshake and dance an awkward social line as we try to relate.
Eventually our children are sitting in laps and holding hands, locking fingers as if our own culture were so affectionate. A strong young man from the East shows my oldest photos of himself from back home. It doesn’t take long for Love to be genuine, for all of us to want to know more, to want to reveal more. We are making exchanges, and we’re not realizing time.
At night’s end, we share with them what our immediate Christmas culture is, so one of us led the entire group in a little play. Everyone gets involved. It begins with Adam and Eve in the garden with the snake, and then this sweet guy from Dubai is wrapped in a rope from which he couldn’t escape, and then it ends with some angels and shepherds, one girl holding a baby, the rope being cut with scissors.
We laugh and role-play, and not one of us doesn’t take it in, the beauty of the scene. This night, I really listen to the gospel story. I really take it in.
Then we read short lyics of 3 songs: Joy to the World, Silent Night, and Jingle Bells. We teach them how they go, and we all sing, and we sing loud, and we smile. Then we go outside and walk through the neighborhood, and we knock on doors, and we sing to the neighbors.
One lady stands in the doorway under her husband’s arm. Tears role down her face as she bounces her baby.
It’s a beautiful story to tell, but it’s an altogether different kind of beauty to live.
My soul feels doubled. God’s best for His followers is to embrace, to share story, to live what we say we believe.
May your Christmas be a realization of your own part in the Jesus Story. Merry Christmas!
By Amber, the Run-A-MuckLeave a Comment
My Part in the Story | The Run a Muck says
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Kelly Sauer says
I envy you this memory, as we slog into Christmas living hard with our heads barely above-water, hoping to be open enough to welcome dear friends to our home. What is our part this year but to trust that He came to hold us…
Thank you for sharing, Amber. I completely love your heart.
Merry Christmas to you and your family, Amber!
Holley Gerth says
Amber, girl, I love the way you love this big ol’ world and all of the people in it. You’ve got a heart as beautiful and wide as the sea. Thank you sharing it with us here. Merry Christmas, friend!
I Live in an Antbed says
That is wonderful! What a gift you have given them: unwrapping The Gift. I’m sure they will remember that special evening forever!!!
We do, don’t we? We each have a part to play.
You play your part so well, Amber. So very well…
Merry Christmas to you to your sweet, sweet family!
Love, love, love every word. I agree that we all have a part and as my part this Christmas is illness, intense pain, I have struggled against how my part brings glory. Thanks for reminding me that the body is a Whole, and other parts are reaching out even as others reach into the Body for me.
Kendra Funk says
oh..this brings back such good memories of years past, celebrating the birth of Jesus with International students…as well as with our friends in China. The story coming alive and fresh again for me – as if I were also hearing it for the first time with some of them…and such a beautiful picture of what heaven will be like!
I have so deeply appreciated the writing here this Christmas season. We have a little girl who is not expected to live long – she is 7 months old and she has ‘heart spells’ when her heart stops beating and she struggles to breathe. Your honest words minister to me. Thank-you.
Robert Hagedorn says
Do a search: The First Scandal Adam and Eve.