(Brooke’s generosity Blog)
December 24, 2019
The day has come. Tonight, is the night. We light a candle and we embrace the event; an event that happened once long ago, and an event that continues to surprise us with the newness and power of the hope Jesus represents.
Jesus was the gift of God to us. Christmas Eve is a time of tradition, family gatherings, acknowledging the loss of a person who is not with us this year for Christmas, and a time to worship and say “thank you” to God for this amazing gift.
We are all aware of the gift giving traditions of Christmas. Perhaps too aware. The stories that make my heart sing, are about stories of gifts that are unexpected and very personal.
“One dollar and eighty-seven cents. That was all. And sixty cents of it was in pennies.”
‘The Gift of the Magi’ is a short story by O. Henry first published in 1905. On Christmas Eve, with only one day left to find a Christmas gift for her husband James Dillingham Young, Della sells her hair for $20 to a nearby hairdresser. She finds a platinum pocket watch fob chain for Jim’s watch for $21 and was satisfied that she found the perfect gift for Jim.
Later that night Della admits to Jim that she sold her hair to buy him his present. Jim gives Della her present – a set of combs, useless now that her hair is shortened. Della then shows Jim the chain she bought for him, to which Jim says he sold his watch to get the money to buy her ornamental combs. Although Jim and Della are now left with gifts that neither one can use, they realize how far they are willing to go to show their love for each other, and how priceless their love really is.
We at Knox Waterloo are blessed to have a nativity scene just outside the atrium windows each advent season. Volunteer carpenters make this nativity and put it up each year. This expression of our faith is placed outside and is lit up, as a sign of Hope for our community. Each day this is seen by people on LRT trains, vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians.
For several years we had a problem. It is an embarrassing problem. We are a church, and we lost Jesus.
The baby Jesus had been removed from the Nativity scene and disappeared. We could not have this. So, our brave carpenters had an emergency call for a new baby Jesus. They were so concerned that they made two babies, just in case it happened again.
It happened again. – We lost Jesus several years in a row. We had meetings. We talked about installing a GPS device into the body of Jesus. We speculated about having Jesus made of iron or steel instead of wood. In the end, we found peace about the lost Jesuses. We felt that if someone really needed Jesus more than we did, that perhaps Jesus would be a blessing to them. We prayed that Jesus (wherever the missing baby Jesuses went) would bless those around him.
(“Jesuses” is the correct plural for Jesus. There is ever only one “JESUS” so we never see the plural.)
Thanks to the generous sharing of carpentry skills, we have a Nativity scene with the baby Jesus integrated to the whole. It would take a lot of time and a chain saw to remove Jesus. (Engineering students please, this is not a challenge.)
May you find hope and great comfort this Christmas eve from Jesus. Still loving us after all these years.