Sunday Challenge #10: Make a Joyful Noise

make_a_joyful_noise_christmas_card-rb583142b95cc4a089b00f12e4039059e_xvuat_8byvr_512Today is week 10 and the last week for our Sunday challenge.  It also just so happens to be Christmas Day.  I want to thank all of you who have joined me these past 10 weeks and I truly hope and pray that these acts have encouraged and inspired you.  Maybe you have begun thinking about issues in a different way or began seeing the world from a new angle. Maybe you’ve even made some big decisions like changing your diet or moving into a more life-giving career path.  Wherever your journey has taken you, I’d like to say thanks for joining me on the journey and I hope your path does not end here, but only continues in ways that promote your wholeness and well-being.

In seminary we often say that the two most difficult days to come up with a new sermon are Christmas and Easter.  But today I’d like to word that a little differently.  You see, often it isn’t about saying something completely new, but rather saying the same old thing in a brand-new way.

Christmas is one of the most important days on the Christian calendar.  It is not only a day of family get-togethers, gift giving, parties, and lots of food, but it is first and foremost a celebration of a wonderful Saviour, a God-King who came down to this world to redeem us all.

For many people, the Christmas holidays can be occasions of joy and happiness, but for many others they may evoke a sense of sadness, of grief, and of loss.  Regardless of where your emotions line today, know that you are loved and held completely by Christ, embraced in His never-ending and ever-flowing love.  His gift to you and to me.

My challenge for you this week is to find ways to continue to share in this celebration.  What are some ways that you can be a light-bearer and a joy-giver to all those around you?  What can you do to spread some Christmas cheer to someone who might otherwise not get any?  Who can you invite to join you at your table who might not have a home or might be away from home?

When I lived abroad, I got at least 4 or 5 invitations to join Christmas dinners.  One family in particular opened their house up to anyone who needed a place to go – to any internationals they could think of.  It ended up that I was working on Christmas day and so I spent the time with my L’Arche family and we had an incredible meal together followed by some Sherlock Holmes.  BUT the sheer act of being invited greatly lifted my spirits.  It reminded me that as far from home as I geographically was, there is always that extra piece of home you take with you wherever you go.

I pray that this Christmas you experience that sense of home – right there in your heart.  Merry Christmas one and all, and to all a good night!

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