Having spent 30 years in the glow of commercial American Christmases past it hasnâ€™t been easy forgoing things that make it â€œfeelâ€ like a holiday.Â When I look outside and see sunshine instead of clouds heavy with snow it seems strange.Â When I can sunbathe the week before Christmas it seems strange.Â When only a handful of shops are decorated for Christmas (some with yellow balloonsâ€¦not so festive) it seems strange.Â But itâ€™s kind of nice. This Christmas I feel like I could do without all the decorations and store bought glimmer.Â Christmas music and the occasional cookie are enough.Â I havenâ€™t shopped yet, I donâ€™t know what we are having on Christmas for dinner, and we havenâ€™t received a Christmas card.Â And Iâ€™m okay with that.
I could go on a rant about how appreciative Americans should be on Christmas for the OVER abundance.Â I could remind you all how in my neighborhood kids run around in rags and make toys out of trash.Â But I wonâ€™t.Â Because none of this matters.Â This isnâ€™t what its all about.
Our big plan this year is to feed 400 people in our neighborhood.Â Last year we fed about 300 on Easter and close to that for the past two Christmases.Â We open the gates and stoke to charcoal stoves and talk about Jesus and fill the bellies of many.Â It is hard work.Â It takes days of preparation.Â But when you sit there and watch your community, your neighbors and friends gathered together celebrating Jesus it is amazing.
Our youth are working on a Christmas play that is simply the story of Jesusâ€™ birth.Â Nothing fancy, no cool set. Just a baby Jesus doll with no legs and a group of awkward teens sharing with their neighbors what the Christmas story is.
Food costs have been rising to abnormal highs here in Uganda and many people are only eating beans and rice or corn meal mush once or twice a day.Â People in our congregation are coming weekly asking for help with food.Â So to be able to offer a LAVISH meal of things that our community wonâ€™t eat all year is thrilling.Â There will be no beans on Christmas.Â There will be smiling faces and full tummies and hopefully many many hope filled hearts.
However you celebrate this year, remember WHO we are celebrating and be filled with the spirit of generosity, peace, gratitude and love.
Merry Christmas from Team5morris and Sojourn Ministries!