Advent days 19-25

Posted: December 26, 2012 in Faith

Day 19: The Shepherds and Jesus

shepherddI couldn’t think of a more appropriate picture to describe what I’m about to talk about. Some say the above picture was taken of an abandoned dog who found it’s way to a safe place to rest-in Jesus’ manger in a Nativity scene. I’m not sure if the story about his photo is true or not but the photo still depicts a little shepherd puppy sleeping on Jesus’ lap. It’s utterly adorable isn’t it?

The first people to hear about the good news of Jesus’ birth were shepherds. Shepherds were the lowliest of people and practically rejected by society. Day and Night they guard flocks of sheep and were usually alone with those sheep. They wren’t exactly high in society. King David himself started off as a shepherd but he became a great King.

This inspires me this advent season. There are so many people out there who are not “Great” in the eyes of society, myself being one of them. I don’t have a high end career I merely serve coffee and sometimes pump gas for minimum wage but I’m there for a reason. Everyone is where they are for a reason, whether you are a leader or just merely the person who washes the dishes at church. The angels did not appear to the “important” people on earth first making it obvious that God’s idea of perfection and the world views of it are completely different.

“Fear not for I bring you good news”

Day 20: an Outpouring

connectionI love my community and how awesome and loving they are. The above picture is all the stuff some of my congregation members donated to a food/toy drive which will continue into the new year where our church will be able to continue to outpour into the community. Thanks to so many awesome people many children were blessed with Christmas presents that their parents could not afford, many families were given food and supplies as well. Combined with Foodbank hampers these extra hampers were certainly a blessing to many. Within a few seconds my request to get a friend a new pair of shoes was answered 🙂 There really is so much love in this community and it truly inspires me.

Christmas isn’t about how much you get but how many people are blessed. Christmas is a time to show your love for others.

Day 21: The advent candle of love

Which we totally forgot to light >< but we are from a very forgetful family. However our tradition did continue with much love. My husband and I took time to chat to people in the community as we went for a trek in the fresh fallen snow. When my daughter got home from school we spent lots of time with her and explained to her how much she is loved and cherished. She brought home a small tree which was a gift from her teachers and we decorated it and put it in her room. She was very happy to have her very own tree.

This Advent season don’t forget to extend your love for others and not just family and friends, Take some time to let other people know you appreciate them. It can even be as simple as a compliment to someone who provides a service like the lady behind the grocery counter or the person who pumps your gas…let them know that their service is appreciated and I guarantee they willo feel loved.

Day 22: Journey to Bethlehem

donkeyEvery year my church puts on the Journey to Bethlehem which is an interactive journey. Groups get to travel to fill out the census and along the way they get to meet shepherds, the wise men, some bandits, lepers, Roman soldiers, Bethlehem market place, the Inn, some angels and of course Baby Jesus. The journey also includes live animals and people just absolutely LOVE it. Some of the people who come through were brought by family members and didn’t even know about the Christmas story. It was such a priviledge to be a part of this.

In total we had about 400-500 people come through over the weekend and everyone had a wonderful time.

Day 23: A little Christmas joy 

Today I ended up putting together a few small gifts and distributing them to people. I just wanted to show people how much I truly apprecieted them and cherished them 🙂 At Christmas time the small things count, it could be a simple hug or just a small gift or card to let people know you are thinking of them. I don’t have enough money to bless everyone with lavishing gifts but I’m sure they do not mind. I am truly blessed to have these people in my life and I couldn’t ask for a greater gift.

Day 24: A norovirus Christmas eve

jessmessGuess I got my own little shepherd this Christmas. And of course the tradition of one of us being sick on Christmas continues. It was my turn though and I aquired the Stomach flu. So my plans for Christmas even turned into me napping as soon as I got home from work. But I’m so thankful for a loving husband who cuddled with me through it all and for some very loving and cuddly pets. The dog and cat know how to comfort me when I feel ill.

Day 25: CHRISTMAS!

christmasI was overwhelmed by my daughtr’s gratitude with all of her presents…and by all I mean every single last one she was happy about. I’m pretty sure like most 6 year olds she just enjoys opening gifts. Many of the gifts I bought her were under $5 with only 3 over $10. But you know, all it takes is a few small items to make a kid really happy. I’m just glad she hasn’t asked for an iphone yet.

In the afternoon we went and helped out at the community Christmas dinner. Nick helped out in the kitchen and I put pie on plates. I felt fine for a while but then my lovely sickness overcame me and well…after passing out in the bathroom for a brief persiod of time and feeling quite weak and ill I managed to eat a bread roll. No turkey for me. But I did get to spend time with people in the community as well as my friends who were all in good cheer. It’s nice to see them being happy especially after a harsh month…but the outpouring of my great community made them feel loved and they are truly happy that they can get a few small things on boxing day sales. I also got to listen to a few people’s stories and they are heart breaking…but I’m so glad I got to spend some time with these people. There are so many hurting people in my own community and sometimes all they need is ears that just listen. So perhaps I was sick for a reason, I was too weak to chatter but not too weak to listen.

For the remainder of my day I cuddled on the couch and yes we had a very geeky Christmas. My daughter played with her new toys and my husband and I spent the night watching geeky TV shows. It was actually quite nice.

Advent is all over and we now face the start of a brand new year. May 2013 be a year that if filled with much outpouring and love.

also now that Christmas has passed it’s time for me to start hoarding stuff to bless others…and trust me, I ALWAYS lok forward to this 🙂 Sales galore in January ^^ There is no better time than to start buying for Operation Christmas Child and for some of the other awesome community outreach projects.

 

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