My First Christmas
In 1987 if you have read, “A son Off the Edge”, you know that I found Jesus in February of that year. The people of the church welcome me in with open arms, first teaching me about Jesus as they helped me get on my feet. It was not free hand outs like one might think don’t work, don’t eat. I was helped in finding work and finding and a place to live. I got a small place that had three bedrooms of which two other men shared the duplex. I paid my own rent and food from a job I found cleaning fishing boats. The people of the church they still would not let you slip way. They kept me busy going here for Bible study and going there for dinner and prayer. When the demon of depression would close in for the kill on me it was not uncommon for one of the men to stay with me all night in prayer.
As you might guess I was still a bit of a mess a real work in progress when Christmas of that year rolled around. The only family I had at Christmas time was the people of the church. Due to legal problems I was not permitted to go near my own children. Yes the people of the church stood by me through this too. I did not know it but most of these people did Christmas different from others I have known. They like to have Christmas Eve Service and stay up real late at church, laughing, singing, drinking hot chocolate, and loving on one another. The next day, Christmas Day these Christians would come back to church, and they made me come too. They moved all the chairs in the sanctuary, put up tables, brought in Ham, turkey, beef, pies, cakes, cookies, and food and food and presents. These Christians would then take their children out into the streets to find Homeless People and bring them into their feast. These Christians treated the least of these, orphans, widows, and homeless like guest of honor. They seated the least of these in padded seats with tables covered in fine linen real flatware and plates. These Christians severed the poor as gracious waiters as if they where in a five-star restaurant the best in the world. The worship team performed Christmas music as if the Lord King Jesus Himself was their and He was. The children passed out wrapped presents to all no one was left out not even me. The House of the Lord was filled with love, laughter, songs of praise, worship, prayer, peace, healing, and tears of joy as the Holy Spirit embraced all who dined at the Lord’s table this Christmas Day.
This was how I spent my first Christmas as one of Jesus’ followers, it was a very Merry Christmas!