Retailers have been counting down the shopping days to Christmas since October. Television commercials promote ‘the perfect Christmas’ with images of people exchanging gifts with loved ones, enjoying festive food, and having fun with family and friends. Other major brands advertise Christmas as ‘the happiest time of the year’, ‘full of possibilities’, and ‘delivering joy.’
In a way this advertising taps into our personal longing for generous, joyous, loving relationships. They allude to the first Christmas story when a loving Heavenly Father gave mankind his most precious gift in the birth of Jesus. This annual celebration gives us time to unpack the Bethlehem story, to more fully comprehend and value the most costly and generous gift God could give. Remarkably God has given us Jesus Himself who is the source of all real joy and who tangibly demonstrates God’s love, goodness and generosity.
The Bible encourages us to give to others, especially to those in need. Thank you for your prayerful and financial support throughout the year. Working in partnership with you, we have been able to assist those who are financially stressed, emotionally vulnerable, and socially excluded. Through our Toys ‘n’ Tucker program thousands of families and individuals will receive hampers and be reminded that there are people who care for them.
In addition to our work in Community Services prior to Christmas, staff, residents, and volunteers at our Villages have been making decorations and planning Christmas celebrations for everyone to enjoy. These include resident Christmas parties in the weeks before Christmas, and a Christmas meal at the Villages when the residents can invite their families.
I wish you and your family a happy and blessed Christmas, as we reflect on God’s goodness and celebrate the birth of Jesus. ‘Thanks be to God for His most indescribable gift.’ 2 Cor 2:15