An Angel at Christmas

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“While Joseph and Mary were in Bethlehem (far from home) the time came for the baby Jesus to be born, and Mary gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” Luke 2: 6, 7

Have you ever been far from home at Christmas?

Our third child was born in Nairobi, Kenya, on December 14. We named her Elizabeth Anne. I liked the name Elizabeth meaning consecrated to God. My husband added Anne saying, “Her initials will stand for East Africa.”

Nairobi hospital was a very modern hospital and we received excellent care. A week later, my husband picked me up and took me to our home on the mountains. It was strangely quiet. All the missionaries had gone away to celebrate Christmas with their friends. We were on our own.

Christmas day arrived and our little family gathered in the living room. While our two small children played with their new toys, I was nursing my baby. I glanced at the sparsely decorated tree. Because we had no electricity, there were no glowing lights. No Christmas carols on the radio. No Christmas program to attend. No noisy turkey dinner with family gathered around a festive table. Suddenly loneliness overwhelmed me. How I missed my family in Canada!

Then I thought of Mary. How must she have felt so far from home with a brand new baby? But then, Mary had angels and shepherds to make Christmas special, I thought. We have nobody.

I think God has a sense of humour, don’t you? For at that very moment there was a sharp knock on the door. There stood Pastor Benson from a near-by church. He must have sensed that we were lonely for he stayed a long time.

I’ve often thought about that Christmas in Kenya. It didn’t have any of the trimmings that we think belong to a perfect Christmas. Yet, it was the most authentic Christmas I’ve ever had. It taught me that God is present wherever we are and he meets our needs in very practical ways.

Maybe your Christmas will be full of loneliness instead of family gatherings. Perhaps some of you will be celebrating Christmas for the first time without a loved one. Maybe your children are far away and cannot come home for Christmas.

Whose Christmas angel can you be?

Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16).

by Helen Lescheid
used by Permission
To read more of Helen’s writings or to buy one of her books go to her web site: http://www.helenlescheid.com

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