It was nothing short of an extraordinary night. You can only imagine. Even an amazing concert of Angels to announce a birth in a stable, and that little “kid” being visited in the middle of the night by shepherds in a place that might have had some animals as “extras”. From that night onwards, many amazing things happened but all of a sudden, they became ordinary.
One can imagine the first birthday, the celebration that might have happened in the simple home of the carpenter and his wife. Maybe, who knows, the mother of the baby’s cousin, John, might have come over and celebrated the birth of the one who made her yet-to-be-born baby jump in her womb when Mary visited her and shared the news the Angel told her. I wonder if Joseph and Zechariah compared notes on what had happened since then. Life became kind of ordinary but, at the same a time, not empty of awe for those families. More than one year later, those magi showed up at their door … more surprises! An Angel showed up in their dreams telling them not to return to Jerusalem. The lives of those families were never the same after.
In the coziness of Christmas eve, I can’t help but think of those who have never even thought about Christmas and the wonder of the Father’s love. This year, I had the privilege to visit a committed couple of laborers who live and sow in a place that has only 3 followers of the lamb in a 17 miles radius. A dry and barren land, expecting the rain from above to water the ground and expecting a harvest to come.
Yet, we know a huge harvest is here. It is too big for one person, one church, one denomination, one missions organization alone. It is something for all of us. The bright light of that first uncommon night is eagerly expected, dreamed of, deeply desired by many who are still in darkness. That’s precisely why we help, encourage, mobilize, train, mentor, coach, teach, relate, spend time with, pray for, and journey with many in this vast continent so that some would “bow their knees, hear the angels voices”, being challenged to come and see “him who came to dwell with us”. That’s why we don’t cease to invite you and others to join us, so that the world of many would become a shining new day.
Because we worship and serve HIM, not His birthday, Merry Christmas, dear friends! May the feeling evoked by this very special season move your heart and mind to spread the huge awesomeness of The Gift, whether by yourself or by helping us to help other Africans to spread His hope and light!
Loving Him, loving them, loving you with gratitude in our hearts,
Barbosa & Sinara